Blockbuster History in the New Russia

Blockbuster History in the New Russia

Movies, Memory, and Patriotism
Stephen M. Norris
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/19/2012
Format: Paperback 27 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00680-6
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Seeking to rebuild the Russian film industry after its post-Soviet collapse, directors and producers sparked a revival of nationalist and patriotic sentiment by applying Hollywood techniques to themes drawn from Russian history. Unsettled by the government’s move toward market capitalism, Russians embraced these historical blockbusters, packing the American-style multiplexes that sprouted across the country. Stephen M. Norris examines the connections among cinema, politics, economics, history, and patriotism in the creation of "blockbuster history"—the adaptation of an American cinematic style to Russian historical epics.

Author Bio

Stephen M. Norris is Professor of History at Miami University of Ohio. He is author of A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity and editor (with Willard Sunderland) of Russia's People of Empire: Life Stories from Eurasia, 1500 to the Present (IUP, 2012).


“Norris selects films that focus on the Russian past from long ago to the more recent. By situating these films in their political, economic, and social contexts, he paints a fascinating picture of present-day Russia. . . . A superb book.”
 — Denise J. Youngblood, author of Russian War Films: On the Cinema Front

“Norris composes a history of post-Soviet cinema in Russia while writing a history of Russian patriotic ideas. . . . smart, superbly researched, richly contextualized.”
 — Serguei Oushakine, author of The Patriotism of Despair: Nation, War, and Loss in Russia

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Multiplexing Russia
Part 1. The Russia That We Lost
2. The First Blockbuster of the New Nation
3. Terrorism Then and Now
4. Wars and Gambits
5. A Requiem for Communism
Part 2. The Price of War
6. Mirror of War
7. Playing with History
Part 3. Back in the USSR
8. The Blessed Blockbuster
9. The Soviet Horror Show
Part 4. Fantasy Pop History
10. Animating the Past
11. The Look of Fantasy
12. The Business of Patriotism
13. The Production of the Past
14. Conclusion: Packaging the Past

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