Like Viktor Shklovskii’s evocation of Petrograd in 1921 — ‘poised between the present and the future’ — Soviet cinema stands today on the brink of a perilous experiment. For the first time since it was fully centralised and given heavy state subsidy under Boris Shumiatskii’s leadership in the early 1930s, it faces the daunting prospect of justifying its existence by paying its way — or rather, since the cinema has always been a net contributor to state revenues, of submitting itself to the disciplines of self-financing and consumer demand. In line with the same principles introduced by Gorbachev in other areas of the Soviet economy, the cinema henceforth has to recover its expenditure from domestic box-office receipts and any foreign sources of revenue it can tap, while showing itself responsive to the needs and interests of a no longer passive domestic audience.
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- The Cinema
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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