The Road to Nowhere? Space as Time in Recent Russian Cinema
A talk by Professor Birgit Beumers (University of Passau)
The representation of the outskirts and provinces in Russian cinema has always been associated with a source of spirituality. In recent films (such as Sergei Loznitsa's My Joy, 2010; Vasili Sigarev's Land of Oz, 2010; Andrei Proshkin's Orlean, 2015; and Kirill Serebrennikov's Summer, 2018), the road out of Moscow leads nowhere, or, in the best-case scenario, it ends in a landfill. What might this metaphor suggest for the state of contemporary Russia? The paper investigates to what extent such journeys in space also involve a journey in time, into the past, into stasis, or a new “stagnation”.
Birgit Beumers is Professor emerita in Film Studies, Aberystwyth U (UK), and in 2019-20 temporarily replacing the Chair in Slavic Studies at the University of Passau. She specialises in Russian culture, cinema and theatre, and the cinemas of the former Soviet territories. Her publications on Russian film include A History of Russian Cinema (2009) and A Companion to Russian Cinema (editor, 2016). She is editor of the book series KINO (Bloomsbury), and KinoSputniks (intellect), as well as the journals KinoKultura (online) and Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. She is a member of FIPRESCI.