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Book chapter

Chapter 18: Electrical signaling. Film

This subchapter deals with the medial and communicative functions of Soviet cinema during the interwar period. More specifically, it explores how the concept of Soviet viewership articulated within the framework of public discourse influenced the form of cinematic communication between the audience and the Soviet regime during the 1920s and 1930s. Giving a brief overview of the discussions on Soviet viewership during the 1920s, this paper next addresses the transformations, both on the level of the film industry and on the level of the cinematic message, brought to the Soviet film industry with the coming of sound. Special emphasis is paid to the history of sound recording technology and how new tools of expression expanded the ideological and political power of audiovisual media. Finally, this paper determines how the legacies of the avant-garde were appropriated by the cinema of Socialist Realism.