Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema

Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema

Edited by Stephen M Norris and Zara M Torlone
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/14/2008
Format: Paperback 36 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-21982-4
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Identifying who was "inside" and who was "outside" the Soviet/Russian body politic has been a matter of intense and violent urgency, especially in the high Stalinist and post-Soviet periods. It is a theme encountered prominently in film. Employing a range of interpretive methods practiced in Russian/Soviet film studies, Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema highlights the varied ways that Russian and Soviet cinema constructed otherness and foreignness. While the essays explore the "us versus them" binary well known to students of Russian culture and the ways in which Russian films depicted these distinctions, the book demonstrates just how impossible maintaining this binary proved to be.

Contributors are Anthony Anemone, Julian Graffy, Peter Kenez, Joan Neuberger, Stephen M. Norris, Oleg Sulkin, Yuri Tsivian, Emma Widdis, and Josephine Woll.

Author Bio

Stephen M. Norris is Associate Professor of History at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is author of A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity, 1812–1945.

Zara M. Torlone is Assistant Professor of Classics at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has published articles on Vergil's elegies, classical philology in Russia, and the poetry of Joseph Brodsky.


“Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema highlights the varied ways that Russian and Soviet cinema constructed otherness and foreignness. Individual contributions describe how onscreen foreigners could become "Soviet," how Soviet editors attempted to make foreign films and their characters ideologically acceptable to domestic audiences, and how filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein dealt with insiders and outsiders in their films in contradictory ways.”

“A superb collection of essays . . . that examines in a remarkably rich and varied way the construction of otherness and foreignness within this complexly 'national' cinema tradition. . . . Excellent on all counts. ”
 — John MacKay, Yale University

“. . . The nine essays are wonderful in their analyses of films. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.February 2009”
 — Choice

“[The editors] and the volume’s contributors offer an insightful survey of how Soviet and Russian cinema constructed the meanings of Soviet, Russian and foreign identities over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. . . . It will be useful to graduate students and scholars working in the area of Russian and film studies.V.89.3 Jully 2011”
 — Slavic and East European Review

“. . . Stephen Norris and Zara Torlone have . . . produced an anthology that is the best I have ever had the pleasure of reading. . . Lucidly written, well researched, persuasively argued, lavishly illustrated, Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema can be read with pleasure and profit by anyone from the general reader interesed in Russian culture to the most seasoned Russian film specialist.Vol. 68.2 April 2009”
 — Denise J. Youngblood, University of Vermont

“. . .a fine collection of essays by leading film scholars . . . .Vol. 68.4 Winter 2009”
 — Brigit Beumers, University of Bristol

“In a word, the theoretical richness and sophistication of this collection parallel the complexity of its topics and serve as an excellent cross-section of how the theme of foreigners and outsiders is examined in comtemporary studies in film. Volume 54, Issue 4 Winter 2010”
 — Slavonic & East European Journal

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema / Stephen M. Norris

1. The Foreigner's Journey to Consciousness in Early Soviet Cinema: The Case of Protazanov's Tommi / Julian Graffy
2. The Wise and Wicked Game: Reediting, Foreignness, and Soviet Film Culture of the Twenties / Yuri Tsivian
3. Dressing the Part: Clothing Otherness in Soviet Cinema before 1953 / Emma Widdis
4. Under the Big Top: America Goes to the Circus / Josephine Woll
5. Eisenstein's Cosmopolitan Kremlin: Drag Queens, Circus Clowns, Slugs, and Foreigners in Ivan the Terrible / Joan Neuberger
6. The Picture of the Enemy in Stalinist Films / Peter Kenez
7. Identifying the Enemy in Contemporary Russian Film / Oleg Sulkin
8. About Killers, Freaks, and Real Men: The Vigilante Hero of Aleksei Balabanov's Films / Anthony Anemone
9. Fools and Cuckoos: The Outsider as Insider in Post-Soviet War Films / Stephen M. Norris

List of Contributors
Volume Editors