Skip to main content

Silent Screenwriting in Russia: For and Against the Orthodoxy

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
The Modernist Screenplay

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting ((PSIS))

  • 193 Accesses

Abstract

This chapter explores how the screenplay became an important agent of renewal in post-revolutionary Russian literature. Many authors held that the screenplay opposed the psychological fiction of the nineteenth century by focusing only on the immediately visible side of events. The laconic, non-figurative language of orthodox screenwriting corresponded to the “literature of fact” movement, popular among the Russian avant-gardes. Conventional screenplay style also brought out the irony in the politically subversive scripts of the authors who were critical of the new Soviet regime. While many literary authors celebrated the orthodox screenplay as new literary genre, industry practitioners deplored the deficiency of orthodox screenwriting and instead developed the so-called literary screenplay.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Notes

  1. 1.

    For some reason, Gorki (1952, 239) dates this uprising in his script 1666–1668.

  2. 2.

    One of the earliest Russian film historians, Boris Likhachov, discovered and reprinted in his 1927 study what he and later researchers consider to be the original screenplay for Sten’ka Razin, entitled Stenka Razin; or, The Rebels from the Lower Reaches of the Volga (Sten’ka Razin ili ponizovaya vol’nitsa), written by Vasili Goncharov. This script accompanied Goncharov’s letter to the Union of Playwrights and Composers, where he asked for copyright protection for his work (see Kryuchechnikov 1971, 11). There is, however, no conclusive evidence that this document was indeed the original screenplay and not the description of the completed film.

  3. 3.

    Contrary to what Brik further asserts in the article, Novokshonov later wrote a novel based on the same story, which has been repeatedly mistaken as the basis for Brik’s script. For a more detailed clarification of the script’s genesis, see Valyuzhenich (1993).

References

  • Bazin, André. 1960. “The Ontology of the Photographic Image.” Translated by Hugh Gray. Film Quarterly 13 (4): 4–9.

    Google Scholar 

  • Belkina, Lyubov’. 1925. Na velikom puti (kino-drama): Stsenariy. Tula, Russia: Kino-sektsiya Tulgubono.

    Google Scholar 

  • Belodubrovskaya, Maria. 2016. “The Literary Scenario and the Soviet Screenwriting Tradition.” In A Companion to Russian Cinema, edited by Birgit Beumers, 251–69. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brik, Osip. 1927. “Fiksatsiya fakta.” Novyy LEF: Zhurnal levogo fronta iskusstv (11–12): 44–50.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (1928) 1993. Potomok Chingis-Khana. In Osip Maksimovich Brik: Materialy k biografii, edited by Anatoliy Valyuzhenich, 63–73. Akmola: Niva.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. (1936) 1974. “From the Theory and Practice of the Screenwriter.” Translated by Diana Matias. Screen: The Journal of the Society for Education in Film and Television 15 (3): 95–103.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gorki, Maxim. 1952. P’yesy, stsenarii, instsenirovki: 1921–1935. Vol. 18 of Sobraniye sochineniy v tridtsati tomakh. Moscow: Gosudarstvennoye Izdatel’stvo Khudozhestvennoy Literatury.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen-Löve, Aage A. 1978. Der russische Formalismus: Methodologische Rekonstruktion seiner Entwicklung aus dem Prinzip der Verfremdung. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ilf, Ilya, and Evgeny Petrov. (1929) 1963. Barak. Iskusstvo Kino 7: 39–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Korniyenko, N. V. 1994. Introduction to Mashinist. Libretto, by Andrei Platonov. In Andrey Platonov: Vospominaniya sovremennikov: Materialy k biografii, edited by N. V. Korniyenko and Ye. D. Shubina, 229–30. Moscow: Sovremennyy pisatel.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kryuchechnikov, Nikolai V. 1971. Stsenarii i stsenaristy dorevolyutsionnogo kino. Moscow: n.p.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kuleshov, Lev. 1988. Vospominaniya. Rezhissura. Dramaturgiya. Vol. 2 of Sobraniye sochineniy: V 3–kh tomakh. Moscow: Iskusstvo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leyda, Jay. 1960. Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. London: Allen & Unwin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lur’ye, Yakov S. [Avel’ A. Kurdyumov]. 1983. V krayu nepuganykh idiotov: Kniga ob Il’fe i Petrove. Paris: La Presse Libre.

    Google Scholar 

  • Platonov, Andrei. (1929) 1994. Mashinist. Libretto. In Andrey Platonov: Vospominaniya sovremennikov: Materialy k biografii, edited by N. V. Korniyenko and Ye. D. Shubina, 231–43. Moscow: Sovremennyy pisatel’.

    Google Scholar 

  • Price, Steven. 2013. A History of the Screenplay. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pudovkin, Vsevolod. 1974. O kinostsenarii. Kinorezhissura. Masterstvo kinoaktera. Vol. 1 of Sobraniye sochineniy v trekh tomakh. Moscow: Iskusstvo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwarz, Alexander. 1994. Der geschriebene Film: Drehbücher des deutschen und russischen Stummfilms. Munich: Diskurs Film.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shklovsky, Viktor. 1928. Dva bronevika. Sibirskiye Ogni 5: 102–16. http://poisk.ngonb.ru/flip/periodika/sibogni/1928/5/#102.

  • ———. 1929. Kapitanskaya dochka. Moscow: Tea-kino-pečat’.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tretyakov, Sergei. 2010. Sergey Mikhaylovich Tret’yakov: Kinematograficheskoye naslediye; stat’i, ocherki, stenogrammy vystupleniy, doklady, stsenarii. Edited by Irina I. Ratiani. St. Petersburg: Nestor-Istoriya.

    Google Scholar 

  • Trotter, David. 2007. Cinema and Modernism. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Valyuzhenich, Anatoliy. 1993. “Kto zhe vse-taki avtor?” In Osip Maksimovich Brik: Materialy k biografii, edited by Anatoliy Valyuzhenich, 230–34. Akmola, Kazakhstan: Niva.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yangirov, Rashit. 2000. “Spetsifika kinematograficheskogo konteksta v russkoy literature 1910–kh—1920–kh godov.” PhD diss., Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yesenin, Sergei. 1979. Proza. Stat’i i zametki. Avtobiografii. Vol. 5 of Sobraniye sochineniy v shesti tomakh. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya Literatura.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zamyatin, Yevgeny. 2010. Besedy yeretika. Edited by S. Nikonenko and A. Tyurina. Vol. 4 of Sobraniye sochineniy v 5 tomakh. Moscow: Respublika.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexandra Ksenofontova .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Ksenofontova, A. (2020). Silent Screenwriting in Russia: For and Against the Orthodoxy. In: The Modernist Screenplay. Palgrave Studies in Screenwriting. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50589-9_5

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics