This article investigates how director Valeria Anderson constructed heroes in the documentaries she directed between 1960 and 1985. It also asks how far one could go with social criticism in the post-Stalinist/pre-Perestroika era, how pointed the revelations of economic disorder could be, and what rank of leadership could be blamed for the occurrences of these problems. The article concentrates on the documentaries made by Valeria Anderson that depict positive heroes sacrificing their personal interests for the good of the homeland. The narratives are examined by using discourse analysis.
The article suggests that cinematic figures can be divided into two basic groups - barbarian and intellectual. The definition is based on the level of the figures’ intelligibility in the works of Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkovsky. As Claude Lévi-Strauss’ myth analysis shows, there are structural similarities between cinematic figures and myths, the article searches for a closer, more site-specific link, engaging fairy tales, i.e. local myths, as a more efficient way of observing the distinctive features of the figures in specific regions.
This article analyses and maps the links between caricature and animated film, as well as their development during the post-World War II era, in communist Eastern Europe. The article also deals with the specific nature of animation production under the conditions of political censorship and the utilisation of Aesopian language as an Eastern European phenomenon for outmanoeuvring censorship.
This article presents the results of a study in which the Estonian audiences of various stage versions of the same opera (live opera theatre performance and live-in-HD, which were shown at cinemas) during the same season were compared in a social constructivist paradigm to underline whether, and to what extent, audiences’ membership, cultural consumption preferences, attitudes, expectations, values and perceptions differ or coincide, thereby revealing what audiences distinguish as the differences or similarities between live and mediated opera performances. It presents the preference dimensions of the Estonian opera audience and provides an opportunity to discuss the issue of whether a technologically mediated cultural event offers any new opportunities for traditional opera to expand its audience, or whether it captures the audiences and creates competition for the theatres whose performances are not mediated. The survey was carried out among audiences attending performances of Carmen (Georges Bizet, 1875) in the 2014/2015 season at five different venues in Estonia. The findings revealed that, due to the fact that the hierarchy of motivators for the target groups of live and live-in-HD opera differs, it does not support the idea that opera theatre will gain new audiences from cinema or vice versa.
After the Maidan events in Kiev and the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, discussions in Latvia expanded regarding the extent to which the Russian-speaking population in Latvia, whose daily information is obtained mainly from Russia’s TV channels, can get well-balanced and objective information. Opinion polls showed that a large proportion (41%) of the non-Latvians supported the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s policy (SKDS 2014a). The aim of this article is to analyse the structure of the audiovisual media in the Russian language and media usage habits of the Russian-speaking audience using secondary and primary data. And thereby assess whether diversified information is available in the Russian language to this societal group. The research results show that the Russian-speaking population in Latvia does not feel a need for additional information channels, because they believe that the variety of information obtained from Russia’s TV and radio channels is sufficient.
This paper examines the development of neorealist tendencies in the oeuvre of contemporary Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalnina. Her work is positioned within the global dissemination of cinematic neorealism, and its local manifestations, which, it is argued, develop in specific national contexts in reaction to dramatic societal and political changes. Pakalniņa’s films are examined as a documentation of the change from a communist satellite state to an independent democratic, capitalist country. Heavily influenced by the Riga School of Poetic Documentary, a movement in Latvian cinema that adhered to the conventions of poetic documentary filmmaking, the article analyses how her films replicate and further develop the stylistic and aesthetic devices of the Italian neorealists and the succeeding cinematic new waves. In doing so the argument is put forth that Pakalnina has developed neorealism Latvian style.
This article investigates the contradictory information about the Estonian identity of the filmmaker Dimitri Kirsanoff (1899–1957) and examines the archival material that provides final confirmation of his birth and childhood in Tartu. In addition, Kirsanoff’s substantial contribution to silent cinema and his significance in the context of French avant-garde impressionism are discussed. Kirsanoff’s most acclaimed film Ménilmontant (France, 1926) was released 90 years ago. It is still frequently screened all over the world, due to its experimental montage techniques, the early use of handheld cameras, its innovative use of actual locations and the actors’ performances that still resonate with contemporary audiences. Ménilmontant is also influential because of its elliptical narrative style. However, with the advent of sound film, Kirsanoff’s career declined because the reorganisation of the film industry limited the creative freedom he enjoyed in the 1920s. This article attempts to contribute to a wider acknowledgement of Dimitri Kirsanoff’s Estonian origins, his films and his important place in the world cinema.
In the history of cinematography there is a noticeable tradition to deliberately highlight the elements that accentuate space and spatiality in the shots. At the same time, there is also a contrary tradition, i.e. the conscious reduction of spatiality with the help of artistic tools in order to evoke a feeling of alienation. In this article I will argue that it is highly likely that the visual reinforcement of depth has become one of a cinematographer’s most frequently used tools, because it plays an important role in the audience’s perceived empathy towards onscreen characters. Since the practices of art-making – e.g. cinematography – represent a way that the empirical experience accumulated in professional practices reflects underlying neural processes, this article will first draw upon evidence from the common tenets of cinematography and reflect on how these correspond to the respective phenomena in human perception and cognition. The second part of the article examines the theory of the para-dramatic and eso-dramatic factors established by Gal Raz and Talma Hendler as it applies to cinematography; thereby suggesting possibilities for broadening the theoretical foundations of the twofold division of the causes for the viewers’ empathetic responses. The article will also introduce the results from a pilot experiment. However, I will not argue that the rendering of cinematographic space and drawing attention to certain areas are superior tools for creating filmic empathy. I will rather point out that they are often used by cinematographers when they want to create an immersive experience, and therefore, there is reason to believe that a connection exists between emotional empathy and the usage of these cinematographic tools.