Theoretical articles of the film critic I.V. Weisfeld (1909-2003) in the Art of cinema magazine

DOI 10.51955/2312-1327_2023_2_182

Olga I. Gorbatkova

Abstract. The paper analyzes the evolution of theoretical film studies concepts of the famous film scholar I.V. Weisfeld (1909-2003) in the “Art of Cinema” journal (1931-2003).

The objective of the study is to perform a comprehensive content analysis of the evolution of I.V. Weisfeld’s theoretical film studies concepts in the “Art of Cinema” journal (1931-2003) in the context of the transformation of historical and socio-cultural space.

Based on the content analysis of the discourse of film studies formations concentrated in I.V. Weisfeld’s theoretical articles in the “Art of Cinema” journal (1931-2003), the following was revealed:

  • V. Weisfeld’s theoretical film studies concepts were largely confined to the study of problematization vectors of film studies, namely, they concerned a detailed deconstruction of film construction issues, plot and structural image, the style movement of the artist, and a hero’s character;
  • most of his theoretical articles were written in line with the ideological and political dogmas of a particular historical period. The texts of the film scholar’s theoretical articles clearly reflected the ideology of the ruling Communist Party, with frequent quotations of the works of K. Marx, V. Lenin and I. Stalin, as well as the resolutions of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party;
  • a number of articles contained a sharp criticism of “bourgeois concepts” of Western cinema, defended the values of the ideological and moral content of Soviet cinema as well as the unity of the ideological and professional approach in film studies;
  • a significant portion of I.V. Weisfeld’s articles was devoted to the cinematic legacy of famous Soviet filmmakers: S. Eisenstein, D. Vertov, V. Pudovkin, N. Zarkhi, and N. Lebedev in close correlation with criticism and outlining the merits of their work and the development of film studies as a science;
  • A significant segment of the author’s conceptual views concerned the problems of integrating film into the educational process of schools and universities;
  • The author’s theoretical articles are written at a high professional level (using cinematic terminology), not deprived of expressive artistic imagery; presented theoretical concepts are supported by a clear logic of presentation and coherent arguments based on primary sources;
  • The author’s position and attitude towards the subject of research are clearly traceable in the general content and generalizing conclusions; structurally, his articles are usually in a scientific style, have a clear structure and a significant volume;
  • V. Weisfeld’s theoretical film studies concepts are presented in a correlative relationship and determination of the transformation processes of the political and socio-cultural segment in the context of historical stages.

Keywords: Weisfeld, theoretical articles, film studies concept, film history, “Art of Cinema” journal.

Download article in PDF 413.0 kB