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Engendering Genre: The Contemporary Russian Buddy Film

Seckler, Dawn A (2010) Engendering Genre: The Contemporary Russian Buddy Film. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation situates itself at the intersection of several fields: Soviet cultural studies, film genre theory, and masculinity studies. It investigates the articulation of genre categories in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema industries, with a specific focus on the cultural context within which the buddy film emerges in late Soviet culture. This genre is unique within contemporary Russian cinema for providing a visual and narrative structure within which the masculine crisis—a topic widely written about by Russian sociologists and gender scholars—becomes visible. This masculine crisis is more often than not masked by compensatory, hyper-macho images in other genres (e.g., war films, gangster films, historical epics). The buddy film, by contrast, exhibits a type of masculinity rarely glimpsed on screen; these characters are the disillusioned, the marginalized, and the disenfranchised men of late- and post-Soviet society. My argument is grounded in a thorough examination of male-centered Russian buddy films from 1970 until the present day—specifically, I look at such films as A. Smirnov's Belorusskii vokzal (1970), P. Lungin's Taksi-bliuz (1990), V. Abdrashitov's Vremia tantsora (1997), A. Rogozhkin's Kukushka (2002), V. Todorovskii's Liubovnik (2002), and A. Muradov's Pravda o shchelpakh (2003). I also dedicate the final chapter to a consideration of several notable exceptions to the standard male buddy film: V. Todorovskii's Strana glukhikh (1998), S. Bodrov Jr.'s Sestry (2001), F. Popov's Kavkazkaia ruletka (2002), and M. Liubakova's Zhestokost' (2007) in which two women substitute for the typical male pair.I draw on the work of Althusserian film genre theorist Rick Altman, who seeks out the source of genre components in social practice. Altman insists on acknowledging the historicism and subjectivity in the study of genre. Relying on such considerations of genre, my dissertation treats the buddy film from several perspectives: it looks at the genre's antecedents from the Stalinist and Thaw periods, it tracks changes in the genre as cultural and ideological imperatives shift over the past seventy years, and it considers how gender representations adapt to these cultural and ideological transformations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Seckler, Dawn
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPadunov, Vladimirpadunov@pitt.eduPADUNOV
Committee MemberMacFadyen,
Committee MemberFischer, Lucylfischer@pitt.eduLFISCHER
Committee MemberCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.eduCONDEE
Date: 29 January 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 23 November 2009
Approval Date: 29 January 2010
Submission Date: 8 December 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: film genre; Russian cinema; Russian masculinity
Other ID:, etd-12082009-185653
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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