Thursday, September 14, 2006

Beatroot’s Socialist Realism Awards

This blog has a quest.

We aim to find the most ridiculous (and by definition, the most fantastic) piece of socialist realism art ever (see previous post).

Nomination for Best Painting: Boris Vladmirski - ‘Roses for Stalin’. (circa 1950)

10 comments:

Michael Farris said...

A few years ago in my cable line up there was a channel with a weekly slot for Polish socrealistic films from the late 40's or early 50's, which was aimed at younger audiences as retro-hip.

It was my favorite channel as they also showed lots of eastbloc movies from the 70's and 80's of the kind I enjoy. But after a management change they switched to the grade Z english language crap on all other Polish tv stations with the loathesome lector destroying any possible pleasure for an English speaker (and not long after that they disappeared).

My favorite was Dwie brygady (two brigades) about a theater company having trouble getting the proper proletarian spirit in their production of a play set in a ball-bearing factory. Solution? Learn from the workers! They visit a factory with similar generational conflicts as in the play, young firebrands want to 'przekraczyc normy' (surpass their quotas) and the older more experienced workers are more concerned with quality blah blah blah. As might be expected the actors and workers learn from each other and the workers attend the premiere of the play (which is a great success).

j.l.o.theoriginal said...

viva twins! the "agency " referred wholetruthy to your sight!!!!

beatroot said...

JLO the original - what are you talking about?

Redwine said...

One of my favorite movies is North Korean: it was a love story. Everybody let that wymin down (all the 4 men she had) except the Party (the party as sexual and emotioanl subsitute was new even for me). The other was Albanian: "Taulenti wants a sister" was the title, that was about abortion. A masterpiece, no less.
It seemed very socreal to me, but Albanians considerd it rather avant garde... and it was, according to Albanian standards. I definitely developed a passion for the eastbloc movies.

roman said...

I can't help but remember the awkward and uneasy feeling that came over me when Saddam Hussein greeted a young "western" lad whose family he hosted and had the video released to the MSM. This same feeling comes to mind when viewing "Roses for Stalin".

Michael Farris said...

Redwine, you've seen Nork and Albanian movies? I am so seeting with envy...

The closest to an Albanian movie I've seen was Procesi (the trial). Which was shot on video by ethnic Albanians from Kosovo (I think living in the US) about repression of Albanians there (no-subtitles so I'm guessing).

"the party as sexual and emotioanl subsitute was new even for me"

I saw a Cuban movie with a similar theme, Retrato de Teresa (A Portrait of Teresa). It wasn't so overt and many critics missed the point (being fooled by it's feminist false consciousness) but the basic message was that Teresa got more emotional support and personal fulfillment from her party involvement than from her flawed (though basically decent and good communist) husband.

Getting back to this part of the world, it's kind of sad that the movie industries in the eastbloc have never really recovered from the fall of communism*.
The region has gone from being one of the liveliest most engaging cinemas on the planet straight into the toilet and still hasn't crawled out. The Czechs have done better than the rest, but Poland and Hungary still lag far behind.

*Nb I'm not suggesting that the countries in question should have maintained communism for the sake of some interesting movies.

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