The University of Wisconsin Press

Film / Russia

The Magic Mirror
Moviemaking in Russia, 1908–1918
Denise J. Youngblood

Wisconsin Studies in Film

"A compelling account of the social basis of the development of Russian cinema."
—Vance Kepley, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Amid the instability and violence of turn-of-the-century industrialization and urbanization Russians embraced a revolutionary art form to reflect the aspirations and motivations of a new class. In The Magic Mirror  Denise Youngblood portrays a newly urbanized entrepreneurial middle class—not the revolutionaries or imperialists of historians—and the movies they made and paid to see. Upon those screens they saw their lives depicted in all their variety and uncertainty.

Youngblood provides a cultural angle into an era most often viewed through a revolutionary lens. Film and the film industry illuminates and reflects the popular attitudes of the time.

The Magic Mirror is a study of the ten years of native film production through the Revolutions of 1917, based almost exclusively on Russian language primary sources. Topics examined include the organization and evolution of the industry followed by description and analysis of genres, motifs, and themes as exemplified in 65 of the most important surviving films.

Denise Youngblood is associate professor of history at the University of Vermont and the author of Movies for the Masses and Soviet Cinema in the Soviet Era.

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April 1999
LC: 98-048706 PN
216 pp.   6 x 9   18 b/w photos

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-16234-4
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Cloth $49.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-16230-6
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