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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Контрапункт к мейнстриму: Управление звуком в советском кино начала 1930-х годов

С. 190-204.

The present article aims to investigate some vocal effects that came into play in Soviet films of the early 1930s. In the course of the early Soviet experiments with sound recording, performed by broadcast engineers Alexander Shorin (Leningrad) and Pavel Tager (Moscow), the Soviet Union has become able to set up an independent sound film production. It was probably not so highly advanced in Russia as in Hollywood, but still it was sufficient to shoot films with impressive sound effects. During the earliest period, human voices recorded to film simultaneous to the picture, underwent certain distortions, not only due to the shortfalls of sound technology but also for a clear conceptual reason. For example, a voice was being alienated from the body and tended to become a kind of supreme instance that represented the Soviet state existing ‘anywhere and nowhere’.  Such films as ‘Alone’ by Grigorij Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg (1931), ‘Ivan’ by Olexander Dovzhenko (1932) and ‘Deserter’ by Vsevolod Pudovkin (1933) give evidence of how this concept was implemented in the early film. A kind of supernatural voice that belonged to the state was set to be emitted via loudspeakers. It was then gradually getting inside human mind and started ruling it from the inside like a personal voice. The aim of the analysis is to examine how the dominant (transcendent) voice of the state triggers the protagonist’s identity loss while forcing the individual to get his self-adjusted to alien’s voice.

 

 

In book

Зенкин С. Н. М.: Новое литературное обозрение, 2016.