Leviathan and Sunstroke: Opinions of the Russian Film Critics
Fedorov, A. (2017). Leviathan and Sunstroke: opinions of the Russian film critics . International Journal of Media and Information Literacy, no. 1.
9 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 17, 2017
Modern media criticism as a whole based on the hermeneutic approach to the analysis of the media and media products relying on such key concepts as media agencies, media/media text categories, media technologies, media languages, media representations and media audiences, because they all have a direct bearing on the ideological market and structural and substantive aspects of the analysis of media and media texts. It is interesting to see how these approaches are implemented in concrete works of Russian film criticism concerning, for example, the two most controversial films of the last seasons: Sunstroke (2014) by Nikita Mikhalkov and Leviathan (2014) by Andrei Zvyagintsev.
The key questions of Sunstroke are: What kind of Russia we lost? How, and why it happened? And the key questions of Leviathan are: What kind of Russia we gained? And why is this? The author of this article analyzed around 60 reviews of Russian critics' community (mainly of the leading, most active and visible). They were (very) roughly divided into two groups: texts from the authors of liberal wing, and texts from the authors of the conservative wing.
The main conclusion: Leviathan and Sunstroke, in fact, has become an indicator of the political stratification of Russian film criticism: in many cases, films were analyzed, first of all, not as a works of art, but as social and ideological messages. However, this is not surprising, because of the bundle of Russian film critics' community. However, the Russian mass audience as a whole is much more conservative than media criticism community. And, of course which is more focused on entertainment component of media culture (and the lack of interest of the vast audience in serious problems eloquently showed modest box-offices of Leviathan and Sunstroke).
Keywords: film criticism, media criticism, Russia, cinema, movie, film, Leviathan, Sunstroke
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