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Engaging the Moving Image$
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Noël Carroll

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300091953

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300091953.001.0001

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Cinematic Nation Building: Eisenstein's The Old and the New

Cinematic Nation Building: Eisenstein's The Old and the New

(p.303) Chapter 15 Cinematic Nation Building: Eisenstein's The Old and the New
Engaging the Moving Image

Noël Carroll

Yale University Press

This chapter begins with a suggestion presented by Benedict Anderson stating that the idea of a nation is in large measure imagined retrospectively. The Soviet Union offers an interesting counterpoint to this—that of a nation imagined prospectively. The Soviet Union literally had to be invented. As is well known, cinema was expected to play a crucial role in this process. Surely it was for such a purpose that Lenin anointed cinema the premier socialist artform. Many Soviet films of the twenties were devoted to consolidating a tradition for the new nation, commemorating its revolutionary founding in historical spectacles. Certain other films, however, looked primarily to the future, rather than to the past, in order to imagine what the Soviet Union could become.

Keywords:   nation, Benedict Anderson, Soviet Union, Soviet films, cinema, Lenin, socialist artform

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