Special/spatial effects in Soviet cinema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (SciVal)


In this chapter I analyze the techniques that have allowed filmmakers to create images of movement in to other spaces, of (space) flight, and of imagined life on other planets, and thus develop an aestheticized image of the cosmos. I focus on the technical achievements of the Soviet film industry—sometimes superior to Hollywood—when creating films about space and other planets. Through the case of Pavel Klushantsev I investigate Soviet images of space as projections of a utopian, socialist society, and the use of special effects to simulate the conquest of other planets, by means of which the Soviet Union sought to assert its superiority over both American space and American film industries. Once the Americans had landed on the moon, the Soviet film industry lost interest in creating uplifting visions of utopian planets and societies. Instead, special effects moved into the realm of art-house cinema in the 1970s, before making a return into mainstream in the 2000s. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the potential for the manipulation of images for political purposes, as exposed and parodied in a mockumentary about an invented mythical journey into space, Aleksei Fedorchenko’s First on the Moon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRussian Aviation, Space Flight and Visual Culture
EditorsVlad Strukov, Helena Goscilo
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Print)9781138951983, 1138951986
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRoutledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series


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