Pascal Vimenet - The New Gulliver: Russian Mountains and Soviet Fantasmagoria

slovo:5244 - Slovo, March 2, 2019, To the East of Pixar : Russian and Soviet Animated Film -
The New Gulliver: Russian Mountains and Soviet Fantasmagoria

Authors: Pascal Vimenet

The New Gulliver (1935), the first black and white Soviet animatedfeature film directed by Alexander Ptusko, has not been the subject of a specific studyso far. The following is contextual, biographical, as well as filmic analysis. It offers anew light on the route of Ptusko (1900-1973), especially on the 1920-1930 whichsees emerge his cinema. After having realized It Arrived at the Stadium (1928)and The Master of Everyday Life (1932), Ptusko took the lead of the section of theanimated film of the Sovkino studios become Moskinokombinat, then Mosfilm. Thepolitico-cultural context of the emergence of his feature film, 1927 and 1935, whichbrings together all the diversity of the Soviet avant-garde but sees the triumph of thedogma of socialist realism, is examined at length. Ptusko’s film seems receptive to theburlesque theories of the founders of the FEKS. The puppetisation of the characters inPtusko’s film, the symbolic games of scale, may have originated in this movement. Buthow could The New Gulliver, this « film-tale », have imposed itself in the politicalcontext and resist the realistic socialist sirens or divert certain codes? Ptusko choosesa philosophical tale doubled by a political pamphlet that authorizes him to link themarvelous to the political. An audacious adaptation of Swift, a Muscovite spectacular,The New Gulliver aims to compete, with its 1 500 puppets articulated, hundreds ofplastic figurines, their combination to the real shot and its 20 sets, with King Kong.Ptusko’s film provokes Chaplin’s admiration for his facetiousness. The study dissects theallegory that structures the film and seeks to identify in the staging of everything thatechoes the Soviet present. And when it appears that the Lilliputian hymn, the songof the hated kingship, anticipates in an unsettling way The Ode to Stalin of 1939, itbecomes certain that The New Gulliver, more than to demonstrate the invincibility ofthe homo sovieticus, transforms the history in a roller coaster and makes penetrate theexplosive concept of uchronia.

Volume: To the East of Pixar : Russian and Soviet Animated Film
Published on: March 2, 2019
Submitted on: March 2, 2019
Keywords: [ SHS.ART ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Art and art history


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