Sight and Sound’s Reviewing of Soviet Cinema from the Thaw to the Demise of the Soviet Union
The film journal Sight and Sound was first published in 1932, and from 1934 has been run by the British Film Institute. It was published four times a year for most of its history until it became a monthly in 1991. As the most widely read serious film magazine for a broad, non-academic audience, it has been instrumental in informing and in shaping popular taste. This paper will look at its coverage of Russian and Soviet cinema in the twenty five years before the changes at the magazine coincided with the demise of the Soviet Union. How much attention was given to Soviet cinema? What films, directors and other phenomena were written about and by whom? To what extent did the magazine’s coverage reflect developments in Soviet film and in its broader reception in the West?
Paper given at the Fifth Fitzwilliam Colloquium in Russian Studies "British Perception and Reception of Russian Culture, 18th-20th Centuries", Cambridge, 2012. Full text published in A People Passing Rude: British Responses to Russian Culture, ed. By Anthony Cross. Open Book Publisher, 2012.