On March this year, the Gallery of Rusian Arts and Design (GRAD), held an exhibition that examined the golden age of Soviet Film, to celebrate de UK/Russia year of culture. The exhibit was co-curated by Elena Sudavoka, director of GRAD, the film critic and art historian Lutz Becker, in collaboration with Atikbar.
Here are a few highlights from the time cinema flourished in the Soviet Union, regarding design and the film industry:
– The government used films as a propaganda tool for the illiterate masses.
– Sovkino was a state-controlled organisation, whom managed the distribution of foreign films, including those from the US; profits were used to subsidise domestic film production.
– Reklam Film was the department that controlled the production of film posters across the USSR and at its helm was designer Yakov Ruklevsky, who engaged a number of talented young artists.
– Film posters of this era have become masterpieces in their own right.
– They were produced at a time when innovative on-screen techniques were being incorporated into the design of advertisements.
– The pieces created a new visual vocabulary for film posters, both foreign and domestic, incorporating the practices they saw on-screen. As the films were black and white, the designers employed their artistic licence to great effect, using vivid colour blocking and dynamic typographical experiments to capture the essence of each production, sometimes without having even seen it.
– Only a few originals posters survive.
– The exhibition presented work from the brothers Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg, Yakov Ruklevsky, Aleksandr Naumov, Mikhail Dlugach and Nikolai Prusakov.
via Silent London