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Probing the Heart and Mind of the Viewer: Scientific Studies of Film and Theater Spectators in the Soviet Union, 1917–1936

  • Anna Toropova

Abstract

A vast array of research institutes and cultural organizations began to study the viewer of Soviet cinema and theatre in the years following the October Revolution. These investigations called on the techniques of sociology, psychology, and physiology to make Soviet cultural production more “efficient” and “rational.” Belying the conventional assumption that the cultural revolution of 1928–1932 brought empirical research in aesthetics to an abrupt end, this paper traces the continuation and redefinition of studies of the viewer in the Soviet Union after the “Great Break.” My analysis of the work of the “Scientific Research Sector” at the State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) between 1933 and 1936 outlines how Stalin-era researchers shifted their gaze from viewers’ tastes and attitudes to questions of perceptual management and effectiveness. Exploring the VGIK researchers’ attempts to determine the “laws” of aesthetic perception and optimize intelligibility, the article brings to light the developments in scientific knowledge underwriting Soviet culture's transition to a form “accessible to the millions.”

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

References

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1. Levidov, Mikhail, Chelovek i kino: Estetiko-sotsiologicheskii etiud (Moscow, 1927), 8690.

2. Viewer research cells were formed within the following institutions: the Society of the Friends of Soviet Cinema (ODSK), the Institute of Experimental Psychology, the Institute of Pedagogical Methodology (IMShR), the Institute for the Methods of Extracurricular Educational Activity (IMVR), the State Academy of the Artistic Sciences (GAKhN), the Communist Academy, the N. K. Krupskaia Academy of Communist Education, the Moscow Polytechnic Museum, Glavpolitprosvet (The Chief Committee on Political Education within Narkompros), Gubpolitprosvet (the Provincial Department of Political Enlightenment), the Russian Theatrical Society (RTO), the departments of culture at the Moscow and Leningrad City Councils of Trade Unions, the Association of Revolutionary Cinematography (ARK), the State Institute of the History of Art (GIII) in Leningrad, the Meyerhold theater, the Moscow Children’s Theater, and the Leningrad Young People’s Theater (TIuZ). For a comprehensive overview of the research cells investigating the question of the film and theater viewer in the 1920s, see Fokht-Babushkin, Iurii U., “Izuchenie funktsionirovaniia kino vremen velikogo nemogo,” in Fokht-Babushkin, Iurii U., ed., Publika kino v Rossii: Sotsiologicheskie svidetel΄stva 1910–1930-kh godov (Moscow, 2013), 1617; and Fokht-Babushkin, Iurii U., “Rossiiskaia publika teatra-sotsiologicheskie svidetel΄stva nachala XX veka,” in Fokht-Babushkin, Iurii U., ed., Publika teatra v Rossii: Sotsiologicheskie svidetel΄stva 1890–1930-kh godov (St. Petersburg, 2011), 1346.

3. Borodin, A. P., “O razlichnykh priemakh izucheniia teatral΄nogo zritelia,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 9 (1925): 30.

4. B., A., “O vosprinimaiushchei srede v iskusstve,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 4–5 (1925): 26–8.

5. Lebedev, Nikolai, “67 otvetov: K voprosu ob izuchenii zritelia,” Kino-zhurnal ARK, no. 1 (1925): 21.

6. See Susan Ohmer’s account of the rise of systematic surveys of the film-going public in the US, George Gallup in Hollywood (New York, 2006).

7. First, Joshua, “From Spectator to ‘Differentiated’ Consumer: Film Audience Research in the Era of Developed Socialism (1965–80),” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 9, no. 2 (Spring 2008): 317–44; In Search of the Soviet Reader: The Kosygin Reforms, Sociology, and Changing Concepts of Soviet Society, 1964–1970,” Cahiers du monde russe 54, no. 3 (2013): 623–42; Lovell, Stephen, Russia in the Microphone Age: A History of Soviet Radio, 1919–1970 (Oxford, 2015).

8. Brooks, Jeffrey, “Studies of the Reader in the 1920s,” Russian History, 9, no. 2/3 (1982): 187202; Dobrenko, Evgeny, The Making of the State Reader: Social and Aesthetic Contexts of the Reception of Soviet Literature (Stanford, Calif., 1997); Lenoe, Matthew E., Closer to the Masses: Stalinist Culture, Social Revolution, and Soviet Newspapers (Cambridge, Mass., 2004). See also: Jennifer Brine, “Adult Readers in the Soviet Union” (PhD diss., University of Birmingham, 1985); Gorham, Michael S., Speaking in Soviet Tongues: Language Culture and the Politics of Voice in Revolutionary Russia (DeKalb, Ill.: 2003).

9. Ana Olenina, “Psychomotor Aesthetics: Conceptions of Gesture and Affect in Russian and American Modernity, 1910’s–1920’s” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 2012). For recently published collections of documents on early twentieth-century film and theater audience research in Russia, see the volumes edited by Fokht-Babushkin, Publika kino v Rossii, and Publika teatra v Rossii. Other recent works on this topic include: Kleberg, Lars, “The Nature of the Soviet Audience: Theatrical Ideology and Audience Research in the 1920s,” in Russell, Robert and Barratt, Andrew, eds., Russian Theatre in the Age of Modernism (Basingstoke, 1990), 171195; Youngblood, Denise J., Movies for the Masses: Popular Cinema and Soviet Society in the 1920s (Cambridge, 1992), 2628; Pitches, Jonathan, Science and the Stanislavsky Tradition of Acting (London, 2006); Nesbet, Anne, Savage Junctures: Sergei Eisenstein and the Shape of Thinking (London, 2007); Bohlinger, Vincent, “Engrossing! Exciting! Incomprehensible? Boring! Audience Survey Responses to Eisenstein’s October,” Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, 5, no. 1 (April 2011): 527; Luk΄ianova, M. N., “Osnovnye etapy sotsiologicheskoi razrabotki problemy kinoauditorii v Rossii,” in Bozhkov, O. B., ed., Sotsiologiia vchera, segodnia, zavtra: sotsiologicheskie chteniia pamiati Valeriia Borisova Golofasta, V (St. Petersburg, 2012), 265–84. For examples of Soviet-era works on the topic, see: Khrenov, N., “K probleme sotsiologii i psikhologii kino 20-x godov,” Voprosy kinoiskusstva, vyp. 17 (Moscow, 1976), pp. 163–84; Turovskaia, Maia, “Pochemu zritel΄ khodit v kino,” in Zhanry kino (Moscow, 1979), pp. 138–55.

10. See, for example, Kleberg, “The Nature of the Soviet Audience,” 189.

11. Shklovskii, Viktor, “K voprosu ob izuchenii zritelia,” Sovetskii ekran, no. 50 (1928): 6.

12. Smotr kino-zriteliu,” Sovetskii ekran, no. 15 (1929): 1.

13. Katsigras, A., “Izuchenie kino-zritelia,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 4–5 (1925): 59; “Smotr kino-zriteliu.”

14. Ang, Ien, Desperately Seeking the Audience (London, 1991), 19.

15. “Smotr kino-zriteliu,” 1.

16. Ibid.

17. Zritel΄ moskovskikh teatrov,” Zhizn΄ iskusstva no. 27 and 28 (1926): 11–12, 1314; M., I.Odnovnik po izucheniiu zritelia,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 7 (1926); RGALI (The Russian State Archive of Literature and Art), f. 645, op. 1, d. 390 (Samootchet zritelia); RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, ll. 50–69 (Svodki anketnogo obsledovaniia); Nizhegorodskii zritel΄,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 1 (1928): 7577; Zritel΄ tul΄skogo gostsirka,” Sovestkoe iskusstvo, no. 2 (1928): 5355. The Theater Research Workshop’s research on the film theaters of Tula can be found at RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 358.

18. Troianovskii, A. V. and Egiazarov, R. I., Izuchenie kino-zritelia (Moscow, 1928), 1215; RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, l. 14.

19. RGALI, f. 2495, op. 1, d. 11–13 (Ankety).

20. On ARK’s deployment of the voting method, see Dubrovskii, A., “Rabochaia auditoriia o ‘Tiazhelykh godakh,’Kinozhurnal ARK, no. 2 (1926): 28.

21. 1920s surveys on audience preferences typically required respondents to choose from just two, or at most three, predetermined answers.

22. Dubrobskii, A., “Opyty izucheniia zritelia,” Kinozhurnal ARK, no. 8 (1925): 6.

23. The “coefficient” was calculated by dividing the difference between the number of positive and negative responses a film or play received by the total quantity of questionnaires returned. See Troianovskii and Egiazarov, Izucheniia kinozritelia, 31; RGALI, f. 634, op. 1, d. 312, l. 111.

24. Zagorskii, M., “Eshche ob izuchenii zritelia,” Zhizn΄ iskusstva, no. 20 (1925): 5.

25. One 1926 Theater Research Workshop investigation into the Moscow film viewer identified no less than 20 distinct audience categories. See RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 390.

26. Troianovskii and Egiazarov, Izucheniia kinozritelia, 16–17, 32–33.

27. Levman, B., Rabochii zritel΄ i kino: itogi pervoi rabochei kino-konferentsii (Moscow, 1930), 1516.

28. Zagorskii, “Eshche ob izuchenii zritelia,” 5–6.

29. Terskoi, An., “S΄emka refleksov litsa kak material dlia izhucheniia derevenskogo zritelia,” Kinozhurnal ARK, no. 8 (1925): 1012.

30. Ibid., 10.

31. Bakhtin, N., “Pedagogicheskaia rabota,” in Piotrovskii, Adrian I., ed., Teatr iunykh zritelei: Opyt raboty teatra dlia detei i iunoshestva, 1922–1927 (Leningrad, 1927), 119; Nauchnoe issledovanie spektaklia,” Novyi zritel΄, no. 12 (1924): 12.

32. Bakhtin, “Pedagogicheskaia rabota,” 116.

33. For an overview of the “testing” practices deployed in these disciplines, see Byford, Andy, “The Mental Test as a Boundary Object in Early-20th-Century Russian Child Science,” History of the Human Sciences 27, no. 4 (October 2014): 2258. On the interconnections between Soviet children’s psychology and cinema, see Ana Olenina, “The Junctures of Children’s Psychology and Soviet Film Avant-garde: Representations, Influences, Applications,” in Olga Voronina, ed., The Brill Companion to Soviet Children’s Literature and Film (Leiden, forthcoming).

34. Pravdoliubov, V. A., Kino i nasha molodezh΄: Na osnove dannykh pedologii (Moscow-Leningrad, 1929), 130133.

35. Fedorov, V. F., “Opyty izucheniia zritel΄nogo zala,” Zhizn΄ iskusstva, no. 18 (1925): 1415.

36. RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, ll. 1, 112, 265; Bakhtin, “Pedagogicheskaia rabota,” 110.

37. “Bliznetsy v TIuZe,” Zhizn΄ iskusstva, no. 13 (1926): 11.

38. Fedorov, “Opyty izucheniia zritel΄nogo zala,” 15.

39. On attempts to photograph viewers’ faces, see Terskoi, “S΄emka refleksov litsa,” and Katsigras, A., “Izuchenie kino-zritelia,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 4–5 (1925): 5863. The timing of reactions was first trialed at the State Institute of the History of Art. See Bakhtin, “Pedagogicheskaia rabota,” 120. The Leningrad City Council of Trade Unions’ department of culture also practiced this method. See RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, l. 125.

40. RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 4, ll. 32–36 (Polozhenie o kino-komitete i kino issledovatel’skom institute); On the Theater Research Workshop’s plans for an experimental theater loge, see RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, ll. 113, 226–227. These plans are discussed in detail by Olenina. See her “Psychomotor Aesthetics,” 222–23, 280–81.

41. RGALI, f. 970, op. 1, d. 112, l. 33 (Otchet laboratorii po izucheniiu zrelishcha RTO).

42. Gel΄mont, A. M., “Izuchenie vliania kino na detei (problema i metody),” Kul΄tura i kino, no. 4 (1929): 4344.

43. RGALI, f. 1923, op. 1, d. 2405, l. 22 (Spravka, vydannaia Laboratoriei po izucheniiu mass).

44. TsGA Moskvy (Central State Archive of the City of Moscow), f. 2007, op. 3, d. 2a, l. 40 (Protokoly zasedanii pri Gubpolitprosvete); RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, l. 217.

45. RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, ll. 260–64.

46. Bakhtin, “Pedagogicheskaia rabota,” 114–115; “Nauchnoe issledovanie spektaklia,” 1; Zhinkin, N. I., “Izuchenie detskogo otnosheniia k kinematograficheskoi kartine,” Pedologiia, no. 4 (1930): 505–18.

47. The Theater Research Workshop’s graph of audience responses to a spring 1926 production of The Storm (Shtorm) divided the play into 415 segments. See RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 312, l. 265.

48. Fedorov, V. F., “Opyty izucheniia zritel΄nogo zala,” Zhizn΄ iskusstvo, no. 23 (1925): 11.

49. Gvozdev, A., “Zritel΄ i ego issledovateli,” Zhizn΄ iskusstva, no. 22 (1925): 6.

50. Nesbet, Savage Junctures, 52.

51. RGALI, f. 645, op. 1, d. 4, ll. 22–36. On the resolution to found the institute, see GARF (The State Archive of the Russian Federation) (GARF), f. R7816, op. 1, d. 2 (Protokol no. 287).

52. RGALI, f. 1923, op. 1, d. 2405, l. 1; ll. 21–22.

53. Ibid., ll. 21–22.

54. RAO (The Archive of the Russian Academy of Education), f. 5, op. 1, d. 4, ll.92, 113 (Materialy direktsii instituta, 1924–1930); RAO, f. 5, op. 1, d. 11, ll. 32–34 (Plany raboty instityta, 1929–1930); RAO, f. 5, op. 1, d. 9, ll. 124–27, 306–7 (Otchetnye materialy instituta, 1927–1931).

55. Zhinkin, N. I., “K voprosu o metodike postroeniia uchebnoi fil΄my,” in Detskoe kino: Sbornik 1 (Moscow, 1930), 16.

56. Romm’s audience observations were used to produce rigorous analyses of individual “film-stimuli,” including a 200-page study of the formal construction of King Vidor’s 1928 film, The Patsy. See RAO, f. 5, op. 1, d. 24, ll. 196–200ob (Lichnye dela). On Romm’s recollections of working at the IMVR, see his Izbrannye proizvedeniia v 3-kh tomakh, tom. 2 (Moscow, 1981), 105–7.

57. Olenina, “Psychomotor Aesthetics,” 226.

58. RGALI, f. 1923, op. 1, d. 2405, ll. 24–25.

59. Kuhn, Annette, “Women’s Genres,” Screen 25, no. 1 (Jan/Feb 1984): 23 Susan Ohmer explores this distinction in George Gallup, 5.

60. Zagorskii, “Eshche ob izuchenii zritelia.”

61. Itogi stroitel΄stva kino v SSSR i zadachi sovetskoi kinematografii,” Puti kino: Pervoe vsesoiuznoe partiinoe soveshchanie po kinematografii, ed. Ol΄khovskii, Boris S. (Moscow, 1929), 436.

62. Lenobl΄, G., “Zritel΄ i kinoiskusstvo,” Kino i kul΄tura, no. 11–12 (1930): 28.

63. Ibid., 20.

64. Gavriushin, Konstantin L., Rabota s fil΄moi v derevne: Kinopolitprosvetrabota v derevne (Moscow, 1930), 36. See also: Zusman, Efim I. and Pigarev, Vasilii, OZPKF: Opyt prakticheskoi raboty iacheiki Obshchestva za proletarskoe kino i foto pri kinoteatre “Taganskii” v Moskve (Moscow, 1931), 44; Sukharebskii, Lazar’, Kino-disput (Moscow, 1932); Kokotova, R., “Pedolo-pedagogicheskaia rabota v TIUZe,” in Verkhovskii, N. ed., Teatr iunykh zritelei: Na putiakh tvorcheskoi perestroiki, 1922–1932 (Leningrad, 1932), 6774.

65. Kokotova, “Pedolo-pedagogicheskaia rabota”; Filippov, Vl., “Teatral΄nye ekskursii, kak metod izucheniia zritelia,” Sovetskoe iskusstvo, no. 1 (1926): 5557.

66. On efforts to “liquidate cinematic illiteracy” see Gavriushin, Rabota s fil΄moi, 5.

67. Zusman and Pigarev, OZPKF, 44–46; Bykov, Mikhail A., Politprosvetrabota vokrug kino-fil΄ma (Moscow, 1934); Gavriushin, Rabota s fil΄moi, 13–14.

68. Landau, A., Nikolaeva, L. and Piatnitskaia, N., Vneshkol΄naia kino-rabota s det΄mi i podrostkami (Moscow-Leningrad, 1931), 1016.

69. Bykov, Politprosvetrabota, 14–15; Gavriushin, Rabota s fil΄moi, 21–22.

70. Sukharebskii, L., Kino-sud: opyt metod. razrabotki (Moscow, 1933).

71. Skorodumov, L., “Zritel΄ i kino,” Proletarskoe kino, no. 19 (1932): 49; Skorodumov, L., “Issledovatel΄skaia rabota so zritel΄skim kinoaktivom,” Proletarskoe kino, no. 9 (1931): 4247.

72. Skorodumov, “Zritel΄ i kino,” 49.

73. RGALI, f. 1923, op. 1, d. 2405, l. 24.

74. RGALI, f. 970, op. 4, d. 179, l. 1 (Materialy laboratorii); RGALI, f. 970, op. 4, d. 177, l. 18 (Protokoly zasedanii laboratorii).

75. In a 1931 report on its activities, the Society for Proletarian Photography and Cinema (formerly ODSK) saw no conflict in soliciting audience responses for display on a “Board of Reviews” in confluence with launching a competition to reward the “correct” answers. See Zusman and Pigarev, OZPKF, 48–49.

76. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 233, ll. 57–58 (Nauchno-issledovatel΄skaia rabota L. M. Skorodumova, vol. 2).

77. Skorodumov, “Zritel΄ i kino,” 50.

78. RGALI, f. 970, op. 4, d. 179; RGALI, f. 970, op. 1, d. 112, l. 20.

79. RGALI, f. 970, op. 4, d. 179, l. 1

80. ARAN (The Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences), f. 358, op. 1, d. 38, l. 2 (Protokol sovmestnogo soveshchaniia).

81. Ibid.

82. Nauchno-issledovatel΄skaia rabota v 1934g,” Uchebnoe kino, no. 6 (1934): 1; Vlasov, M. P., ed., K istorii VGIKa: Chast΄ I (Moscow, 2000), 189.

83. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 147, l. 9 (Otchet, 1935).

84. RAO, f. 5, op. 1, d. 8, ll. 36, 41 (Spiski nauchnykh sotrudnikov); RGALI, f. 941, op. 10, d. 533 (Lichnoe delo); Zhinkin, Nikolai I., “Avtobiograficheskie spravki,” in Gidlin, Sergei I., ed., Iazyk—Rech΄—Tvorchestvo (Moscow, 1998), 342–52.

85. For a more detailed overview, see Kozulin, Alex, Psychology in Utopia: Towards a Social History of Soviet Psychology (Cambridge, Mass., 1984), 814; Joravsky, David, Russian Psychology: A Critical History (Oxford, 1989), 107–12; Iaroshevskii, Mikhail G., Istoriia psikhologii (Moscow, 1966), 524–25.

86. As well as working at the Central Institute of Physical Culture, Rudik conducted psycho-physiological investigations of “gifted” children and aptitude tests at the Krupskaia Academy of Communist Education. See RGALI, f. 941, op. 10, d. 533, and Rudik, Petr Antonovich, Psikhologicheskii ispytaniia obshchei odarennosti (Moscow, 1927). Nikiforova worked at the Central Pedological Laboratory and the psychotechnics laboratory of MKKh (the Moscow “Communal Economy” directorate), see RAO, f. 5, op. 1, l. 41. Zhinkin worked at the pedagogical research institutes, the IMShR and IMVR, see RAO, f. 5, op. 1, l. 36.

87. RGALI, f. 941, op. 12, d. 57, ll. 35–36 (Otchet, 1925–26); The Psycho-Physical Laboratory was headed by Vladimir Ekzempliarskii—a specialist in differential psychology and former colleague of Chelpanov’s.

88. RGALI, f. 941, op. 1, d. 104, ll. 25, 29 (Otchet: Filosofskoe otdelenie).

89. Zhinkin and Nikiforova joined the IMVR in 1924 and 1930, respectively, see RAO, f. 5, op. 1, d. 8, ll. 36, 41. Rudik, while not formally employed by the IMVR, delivered a number of presentations at the institute as a member of its “Section for the Study of the Environment,” see RAO, f. 5, op. 1, d. 3, l. 31 (Materialy, 1924–1930).

90. Rudik represented the institute at the 1929 meeting between audience researchers and film producers, see ARAN, f. 358, op. 1, d. 38.

91. Vlasov, M. P., ed., K istorii VGIKa: Chast΄ II (Moscow, 2013), 8. On the Central Committee decree “on Pedological Perversions in the System of the People’s Commissariat of Education,” see Bauer, Raymond A., The New Man in Soviet Psychology (Cambridge, Mass., 1952), 123–24. For an analysis of the decree’s effect on the science of reception, see Dobrenko, The Making of the State Reader, 227–28.

92. RAO, f. 82, op. 3, l. 60; TsGA Moskvy, f. l-52, op. 1, d. 195, l. 1 (Otchet o rabote N. I. Zhinkina).

93. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 230 (P. A. Rudik, “Psikhologicheskie osobennosti”); RGALI, f. 2900. op. 1, d. 214 (O. I. Nikiforova, “Problema kino-vospriiatiia”); RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 193 (N. Zhinkin and S. P. Vinogradov, “Issledovanie effektivnosti”).

94. See, for example, Vygotsky, L.S., “Problema kul΄turnogo razvitiia rebenka,” Pedologiia, no. 1 (1928): 5877.

95. Teplov, B. M. and Kravkov, Sergei V., eds., Zritel΄nye oshchushcheniia i vospriiatiia (Moscow and Leningrad, 1935); Leont΄ev, Aleksei N. and Vygotsky, L.S., Razvitie pamiati: eksperimental΄noe issledovanie vysshikh psikhologicheskikh funktsii (Moscow and Leningrad, 1931).

96. Skorodumov, “Issledovatel’skaia rabota,” 42.

97. Ibid.

98. “Skorodumov, “Zritel΄ i kino,” 53–55. Emmanuel Enchman was a behaviorist whose “theory of the new biology” was influential in the early 1920s.

99. A. Avdeev, “Opyt izucheniia spektaklia dlia detei,” in Adrian I. Piotrovskii, ed., Teatr iunykh zritelei, 84.

100. RGALI, f. 2900, op.1 d. 214, l. 9.

101. Ibid., ll. 10–11.

102. Ibid., ll. 13–15. Transcripts of some of the interviews conducted by Rudik and Nikiforova for the film Counterplan are preserved at RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 975.

103. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 193, ll. 24–25, 31–51.

104. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 214, l. 65.

105. Since analytical shots demanded a level of creative activity from the viewer, the proportion of analytic to synthetic shots in a film was taken as an indicator of a film’s level of difficulty.

106. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 231, ll. 9–16; 28–39 (P. A. Rudik and O. I. Nikiforova, “Opyt izucheniia vospriiatiia”); RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 231, ll. 16–18.

107. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 231, l. 38; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 231, l. 15.

108. K-va, E., “Problemy izucheniia zritelia: Na doklade v Dome Kino,” Sovetskoe kino, 7 (1934): 7778.

109. Ibid., 77.

110. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, ll. 77–81 (Stenogramma zasedaniia).

111. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 214, ll. 81–83.

112. Ibid., ll. 78–86.

113. Ibid., l. 86

114. Ibid., 88–89, 92. On Nikiforova’s thesis of “full entry”, see ibid., ll. 57–63.

115. Ibid., ll. 92–93.

116. RGALI , f. 2900, op. 1, d. 135, l. 110 (Stenogramma soveshchanii).

117. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 214, ll. 77–78.

118. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 135, l. 15; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 214, ll. 128–29; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 231, l. 42.

119. RGALI, f. 2900. op. 1, d. 214, l. 39.

120. Ibid., ll. 134–37.

121. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, l. 82–83.

122. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 230, ll. 6, 12–13.

123. RGALI, op. 1, d. 974, l. 13.

124. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 135, ll. 35–37.

125. Zhinkin, N., “Izuchenie zritelia i problemy postroeniia uchebnoi fil΄my,” Uchebnoe kino, no. 6 (1934): 1425.

126. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 147, l. 26 (Ob organizatsionnoi strukture NIS VGIKa).

127. Ibid., l. 27; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 135, l. 3.

128. “Nauchno-issledovatel΄skaia rabota v 1934g,” 1.

129. TsGA Moskvy, f. l–52, op. 1, l. 1.

130. Zhinkin taught a course on “The Methodology of Constructing an Educational Film” alongside his research work. See Zhinkin, “Avtobiograficheskie spravki,” 342.

131. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 147, ll. 4–5ob, 37, 13ob; M. P. Vlasov, ed., K istorii VGIKa: Chast΄ II, 6.

132. RGALI, f. 2900. op. 1, d. 214, ll. 46–68.

133. Ibid., ll. 65–66.

134. Ibid., l. 44.

135. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 230, ll. 9–11; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, ll. 9–11.

136. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 214, ll. 106–108.

137. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 193, l. 174; E. K-va, “Problemy izucheniia zritelia,” 78.

138. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 135; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 231; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, ll. 14–16; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 193, ll. 155, 224–227; Zhinkin, N., “Elementy siuzhetnosti v uchebnom fil΄me,” Uchebnoe kino, no. 1 (1936): 720.

139. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 230, l. 14; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, ll. 9–10, 14–16; RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 214, ll. 55–57, 66, 102–3. See also, Zhinkin, “K voprosu o metodike,” 16.

140. See, for example, Petrov-Bytov, Pavel, “U nas net sovetskogo kinematographa,” Zhizn΄ iskusstva, no. 17 (1929), 8.

141. M. P. Vlasov, ed., K istorii VGIKa: Chast΄ I, 191.

142. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 147, l. 25.

143. Zhinkin, “Izuchenie detskogo otnosheniia;” Zhinkin, “K voprosu o metodike.”

144. Hansen, Miriam Bratu, “The Mass Production of the Senses: Classical Cinema as Vernacular Modernism,” Modernism/Modernity 6, no. 2 (1999): 66. As Hansen notes, in their seminal work on the topic, David Bordwell, Janet Staigner, and Kristin Thompson portray “classical Hollywood” as a style attuned to the laws of “natural perception.” See their The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (New York, 1985), 34. Noël Carroll has similarly argued that the “phenomenally widespread effectiveness” of films that conform to the “classical” model is based on their being “designed to engage and excite cognitive and perceptual structures.” See his, The Power of Movies,” Daedalus 114, no. 4 (Fall 1985): 101.

145. Hansen, “The Mass Production of the Senses,” 66–67.

146. Ibid., 72.

147. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, ll. 5–6.

148. Ibid., l.16.

149. As Rudik made clear, the opportunities to shape the viewer’s perception provided by introductory lectures, advertising, and foyer displays paled in comparison with the cinematic means at the director’s disposal. See RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 230, l. 12.

150. Ibid., l. 14.

151. RGALI, f. 2900, op. 1, d. 974, l. 87.

152. Ibid., l. 58.

153. Lebedev, Nikolai A., K voprosu o spetsifike kino (Moscow, 1935), 101.

154. G. Lenobl΄, “Zritel΄ i kinoiskusstvo,” 16.

This work was generously supported by the Wellcome Trust [203372/Z/16/Z], supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the British Academy. I am grateful for the helpful feedback I received when I presented an earlier version of this paper at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University College London). I would also like to thank Ana Olenina, Harriet Murav, and the anonymous reviewers at Slavic Review for their many insightful comments and suggestions. The images featured in this article are reproduced with the kind permission of RGALI and the relatives of Abram Gel΄mont.

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