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Article

Кино и зритель в эпоху Перестройки: изменение горизонта зрительских ожиданий в 1980-1990-е годы

This paper is devoted to the transformation of viewers’ perception in the USSR during the 1980s and 1990s. Through collecting and analyzing letters by spectators discovered in the archives and published in the revue Sovetskiy Ekran, this research is aimed to consider the norms and categories of film interpretation, as well as to understand of changes in historical reception during these times. This paper pays close attention to the complicated processes of popular cinema legitimation in the Soviet Union during the transformation of the whole Soviet film industry. Thus, the shift to the market system in the Soviet film industry revealed that filmmakers were not ready to work under the circumstances of market-driven film economy, oriented to the audience. Due to the censorship annulment and the leveling of erotic taboo in Soviet cinema, the naked body became almost the main way of audience attraction. However, the aesthetic tradition of nudity had not yet developed in Soviet cinema, as well as a spectator had not to experience in watching, evaluating and discussing erotic episodes in the cinema. As a result, a viewer used ‘Soviet’ optics of interpretation, relying on the educational discourse of Art and mimetic function of cinema.