The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov

Laughing Matters

Rimgaila Salys

Rimgaila Salys

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

240 pages | 55 film stills | 7 x 9 | © 2009
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841502823 Published September 2009

Grigorii Aleksandrov’s musical comedy films, created with composer Isaak Dunaevskii, were the most popular Russian cinema of the 1930s and ’40s. Drawing on studio documents, press materials, and interviews with surviving film crew members, The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov presents the untold production history of the films. Salys explores how Aleksandrov’s cinema preserved the paradigms of the American musical, including its comedic tradition, using both to inscribe the foundation myths of the Stalin era in the national consciousness. As the first major study to situate these films in the cultural context of the era, this book will be essential to courses on Russian cinema and Soviet culture.

Anna Toropova, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies | Slavonic and East European Review

"A valuable and extremely well-researched contribution that will prove fruitful for
researchers exploring Soviet culture."—Slavonic and East European Review

Denise J. Youngblood | Slavic Review

“There is little of substance to criticize in this book. It is as lively as its subject merits. And, despite its author’s forays into theoretically sophisticated analyses of the films, it is also well written and jargon-free. This work is recommended to both scholars and graduate students in film studies and cultural studies, specifically to those interested in Soviet culture in the 1930s.”

Contents
Introduction
 
Chapter 1
Veselye Rebiata
Happy Guys
 
Chapter 2
Tsirk
Circus
 
Chapter 3
Volga-Volga
 
Chapter 4
Svetlyi put'
The Radiant Path
 
Appendix A - A Day of Filming with Director G. Aleksandrov's Circus Crew
 
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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