Trolling the USSR in Gaidai and Ryazanov.
I have long wanted to write a post that films, which are considered to be "classic Soviet comedies", are in fact not any "Soviet", but rather the opposite. Actually, what can be considered "Soviet art"? In my opinion, this is where the Soviet power is glorified, all its "achievements" and victories. Essentially, inthe USSRsuch art existed only in the Stalin years, when the severe frost of censorship was everywhere. Later, this snowman melted, and it turned out that “Soviet directors” want to make a movie about something completely different.
Especially many of these films appeared in the era of Perestroika, when “everything became possible” literally everything, but personally I’m more interested in films of the Khrushchev-Brezhnev era - when the country was still censored and the directors had to resort to all sorts of clever tricks to make their own movies. It is also interesting that films from the times of the USSR often allowed themselves much more freedom in criticizing the authorities than modern films and TV shows allow themselves - where unanimous "approval" is almost everywhere.
So, in today's post - a big story from an unexpected side about well-known to you Soviet films. Come under the cat, it is interesting. Welladd friendsDo not forget)
First, a little history. Officially in the USSR there was only one style in art - the so-called"socialist realism", all other styles were declared "the art of degenerates and degradants" (as is always the case in dictatorships). From the time of the People's Commissar Lunacharsky in Soviet art, it was necessary to show only "the truth about the life of the workers and peasants under the yoke of capitalism." Social realism was considered the most “prvdivy” art, but it is not so - in fact, social realism told “Soviet fairy tales” in realistic scenery - in films some life never desponding, not sweating and not getting tired combineers, who joyfully went to master virgin life, lived in films - over which, in turn, the sun never set, the clouds did not condense, and the temperature did not fall below 20 degrees Celsius.
Somehow it looked like "classic Soviet films" until about the mid-fifties. In the second half of the fifties, people were already fed up with endless storiesabout the love of the milkmaids and the combiner against the backdrop of a million-plus collective farm, and there was a public demand for something new. This roughly coincided with the debunking of the personality cult of Stalin in 1956 and the beginning of the "thaw" - it was she who gave the opportunity to make a movie in the "new style" in which the directors here and there showed that not everything turns out to be safe in the Danish kingdom - in the USSR there are smugglers, and careless officials, and uncontrolled power, and ill-conceived housing policy.
Eldar Ryazanovwidely known as the director of one of the most famous Soviet films, with his first works Eldar Ryazanov shot precisely in the Soviet style, long before Carnival Night (which many mistakenly consider Ryazanov's first film), before her were the films “They Learn in Moscow” (1950), "The Road of October" (1951) and several others. In the fifties, Ryazanov made several famous feature films (“Carnival Night” and “The Girl without an Address”), where he had already begun to troll the scoop slightly.
Carnival Night (1958).
So, the first film in the list, I think, you all have seen this classic comedy repeatedly. The main negative character (the sort of "Baba Yaga at the festival") is a fairly large Soviet official, the head of the House of Culture, even surprisinglyhow this movie was allowed in the USSR - five years ago, in the Stalinist years, officials were shown exclusively in the style of "good fathers-leaders", whose orders should be discussed implicitly.
In Carnival Night, everything is completely different - a major elderly official (in a wonderful performance by Igor Ilyinsky, the actor of the Meyerhold Theater) is shown by a sluggish and close-up scoop, who even roars his ridiculous ideological cliches and edits, like "I’m alone, all alone, with my healthy team. " Ogurtsov is opposed by the youth wing of children who are far from ideology, who just want to have fun and celebrate the New Year.
I don’t know if Ryazanov himself thought about it, but he was probably the first to show the other side of power in Soviet cinema - it may not be wise or even scary,rather ridiculous, ridiculous and simply unnecessary. In "Carnival Night", by the way, there is a quite suitable continuation called "Old acquaintance", I advise to view.
"Girl without an address" (1957).
In principle, a completely neutral film about the love of a builder and installer and a girl who came to conquer Moscow - the guys met each other on the train and then broke up without giving each other addresses.The builder (Nikolay Rybnikov) the whole film is looking for his beloved all over Moscow and finally he finds it.
There is a very interesting episode in the film, when a girl is hired as a servant in the apartment of a major Soviet official. Here at once the triple break of the pattern - firstly, in the country of "victorious workers and peasants", it turns out, the servants continue to remain. Secondly, a luxurious multi-room “Stalinist” of a Soviet official is shown - this is in those years when most families in cities were located in communal apartments (the very same “class stratification” that the Communists allegedly “defeated”). And in the third - an extremely negative image of the bureaucratic family is shown, the official himself is a bummer, an alcoholic and a womanizer, and his wife is a stupid and stupid woman, having expensive clothes and a private car.
Unambiguous wines, I do not even know how the Soviet censorship of those years missed this episode in the film. Can you imagine that, for example, in modern Russia, on central television, they showed the mansions of some conditional Medvedev, with a bunch of rooms and servants? Me not.
“Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!” (1975).
Recently, on LJ and other Internet texts go,scolding this film - Lukashin is described there as such a close-minded simple-minded man, at the age far beyond 30 living with his mother and following in the wake of friends, but I personally find more interesting in this film.
Remember what the movie begins with. And it begins with a cartoon in which “typical Soviet construction” is ridiculed in satirical form - it is shown how the architect paints a completely suitable and beautiful house project, which is then “slaughtered” in all instances, and the result is a terrible faceless box. This idea is also continued by the text from the author, who reads Shirvindt on the background of the captions - "now in every Soviet city there is a typical cinema" Rocket ", where you can watch" a typical feature film "; I would like to add -" and typical people live in typical apartments ".
This is nothing more than a well-reasoned criticism of the building policy of the USSR, about which I described in detail in the post"How degraded the USSR"and which contrasts strikingly with the bravura and positive tone of the film"It's time big housewarming". Ryazanov definitely respect that he inserted this episode in his film.
Incredible movie - doubly surprising that it appeared long before Perestroika, even in Brezhnev times. A few years was banned, which, however, then removed.
The plot of the film is simple - the research institute team is building a cooperative garage, part of the boxes of which the city authorities decided to remove due to the construction of a high-speed highway, the team needs to decide which shareholder to remove from the list - because of what the battle is unfolding. The “Board” (an obvious allusion to the government of the USSR) is trying to solve everything unilaterally - by scribbling the deal more profitable for itself and deleting the undesirable from the list. People are simply confronted with the fact that"decisions of the board are not discussed"but people are beginning to rebel and demand justice.
Gradually, it turns out that the “Board” actually had no authority to make these or other decisions, plus they were strongly tied up in corruption - for money and “blat” they entered in the list of shareholders the market director and some kind of left general, who they have nothing to do with scientific research institutes.
This is a very good movie that shows what happens to any power when it does not have popular control over itself.In the USSR of the late 1970s, cinema had the effect of a bombshell, something like a modern “it’s not Dimon to you” - specific names and surnames were not mentioned in the Garage, and the scientific research institute itself was fictional, but everyone understood perfectly.
Leonid GaidaiHe worked around the same years as Eldar Ryazanov - he started shooting in the first half of the fifties, and his directorial fame reached its peak in the sixties and seventies. The first films of Gaidai, made in the fifties, are now little known, but in the early sixties, Leonid, as they say now, “has already begun to burn.”
It would seem an innocent short film showing the life of simple Soviet crooks. But from the point of view of trolling the USSR, the film is interesting from two aspects at once.
First, we must remember what happened shortly before 1961. What happened was that in 1958 the first post-war "anti-alcohol campaign" began in the USSR, which supposedly was supposed to reduce alcohol consumption among Soviet citizens, vodka was lost from the range of many shops. In his cinema, Gaidai, in fact, showed what the unilateral prohibitions lead to - to the establishment of artisanal alcohol production.- since the population actually did not quit drinking, but simply began to look for other options for acquiring the "hot".
Secondly, the cinema shows that part of Soviet life that the authorities did not notice and did not write about in the newspapers - the actual presenceprivate underground economy- the film’s heroes do not just concoct a stool somewhere in their kitchen, but in fact have a whole underground factory and warehouse. Such underground production existed in the USSR and in other spheres of the economy, the needs of which could not be covered by the state — there were underground shops for sewing clothes in the country, which resembled samples from western catalogs, underground and semi-underground shoe cooperatives, etc. In short, the film is good)
"Operation" Y "and other adventures of Shurik" (1965).
The film consists of three short stories, and the largest trolling scoop can be seen in the first and third parts. The first episode (“Partner”) in a satirical form shows the ineffectiveness of forced labor of prisoners (which was one of the foundations of the Stalinist economy), as wisely said the hero of the film Fedya - “you are paid in rubles, and I am in a day”. I also like a foreman (M. Pugovkin’s character), who tries in every way to “ideologically process” a prisoner and motivate him for free labor, but to no avail)
In the last novella (actually, “Operation Y”), the roguish director of the warehouse is shown - as now they would say, a thief and a corrupt official. To hide his dark business of stealing someone else's property, he hires a gang of scammers to imitate a warehouse robbery.
Here is what is interesting. If you develop Gaidai’s thought, it turns out that the warehouse manager stole valuable things for quite a long time, a lot of people were included in the “schemes” (customers, underground buyers, loaders, etc.), and the story continued Apparently, months, if not years, and not a single “honest Soviet man” told the police -i.e,the whole circuit would never have surfacedif it were not a puncture with a fake "robbery." How is this possible in the "most honest country of the victorious proletariat"? The viewer must answer it himself)
The Diamond Hand (1968).
Cinema on a neutral theme, but "soft trolling of the USSR" is also present here. First, of course, this is again a story about the shadow side of life in the USSR - the existence of an entire branched group with foreign connections (!) That are engaged in smuggling and, as they would say now, “legalization of proceeds from crime”. The group has its own boss, a criminal network and, apparently, communications at customs.
Trolling scoop here everywhere, the most famous quotes have become immortal - "our people do not go to the bakery by taxi," "will not take - turn off the gas." And also Gaidai censorship cut out a whole bunch of episodes with a hint - for example, the pioneers with flowers (an allusion to a criminal secretary general) were supposed to honor the head of the gangsters, the famous phrase Lelika should have sounded like this - “as our dear says chef, in our case the main thing -socialist realism"(the word" socialist "cut out), and the phrase" The party and the government left in the second year "was thrown out altogether.
What else is interesting - voluntarily or unwittingly Gaidai showed the Soviet people a piece of capitalist life - with wine, dancing and half-naked women, and not condemning, but quite neutral and somewhere even positive.
The story of how Hayday passed the final artistic council, which was supposed to allow the Diamond Hand to be rolled, became even more widely known - Leonid added a video of a nuclear explosion at the end of the film, telling the commission that fiction was shown in the film, and the explosion is our sad reality imperialism is coming! The commission did not appreciate the trolling, was horrified and ordered the scene with an explosion to be removed, without touching the main film. Gaidai was satisfied :)
I am a small specialist in cinema, but I think that all the films from the list will definitely go down in history - maybe film critics in 30 or 40 years will write great scientific works about how Soviet directors managed to masterly troll the Soviet power, while avoiding the obstacles censorship.
Write in the comments what you think about this.