The Imperial Trace

Recent Russian Cinema

by

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780195366761
  • 9780199710546
The collapse of the USSR seemed to spell the end of the empire, yet it by no means foreclosed on Russia's enduring imperial preoccupations, which had extended from the reign of Ivan IV over four and a half centuries. Examining a host of films from contemporary Russian cinema, Nancy Condee argues that we cannot make sense of current Russian culture without accounting for the region's habits of imperial identification. But is this something made legible through narrative alone-Chechen wars at the periphery, costume dramas set in the capital-or could an imperial trace be sought in other, more embedded qualities, such as the structure of representation, the conditions of production, or the preoccupations of its filmmakers? This expansive study takes up this complex question through a commanding analysis of the late Soviet and post-Soviet period auteurists, Kira Muratova, Vadim Abdrashitov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Aleksei German, Aleksandr Sokurov and Aleksei Balabanov.
  • Oxford University Press; April 2009
  • ISBN 9780199710546
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The Imperial Trace
  • Author: Nancy Condee
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780195366761
  • 9780199710546

In The Press

"The Imperial Trace is hands down the most thought-provoking book that I have read in quite some time. It is as well (and wittily) written as it is thoroughly researched and skillfully argued, no mean feat given the complexity of the ideas therein. This superb book is essential reading for anyone interested in nations and empire and their cultural manifestations, in Russian cultural politics, and in late Soviet and contemporary Russian film." --Slavic Review
"Offer[s] some compelling interpretations for six of Russia's contemporary directors. This is greatly appreciated and provides a starting point for other such scholarly discussions...Condee provides much insight into late- and post-Soviet cinema, which will be a relevant source for future scholarship." --Slavic and East European Journal
"Imperial Trace provides insightful, always absorbing, sometimes provocative readings of the dialogue with the imperial legacy in the work of the six most significant film directors working in contemporary Russia."-Julian Graffy, University College London
"This is a book full of surprises; rather than settling issues, it breaks open the discussion."-Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Michigan
"This study represents not only a superb overview and nuanced reading of works by major Russian filmmakers bridging the late Soviet and post-Soviet period, but also a groundbreaking study of the intersection between constructions of empire, cultural institutions, and cinematic texts."-Catharine Nepomnyashchy, Columbia University
"This is scholarship on contemporary Russian cinema at its best. Positioning Russia's understanding of 'empire' between political science and cultural studies, Condee provides a stunningly clear explanation for Russian cinema's failure to integrate into the European or American mainstream." -Birgit Beumers, University of Bristol
"In The Imperial Trace, Nancy Condee has written one of the most ambitious, challenging and rewarding books ever written on Russian cinema: theoretically sophisticated, exhaustively researched, full of local insights and directions for further research, interdisciplinary in the best possible sense, modest in its claims, generous in its citation of other scholars, written with panache...Condee's book will richly reward careful readers and should become a classic in the field."--Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
"The Imperial Trace is hands down the most thought-provoking book that I have read in quite some time. It is as well (and wittily) written as it is thoroughly researched and skilfully argued, no mean feat given the complexity of the ideas therin. This superb book is essential reading for anyone interested in nations and empire and their cultural manifestations, in Russian cultural politics, and in late Soviet and contemporary Russian film." --Denise J. Youngblood, Slavic Review
"An insightful exploration of filmmaking in cultural context. Condee engages with current criticism in a consummate manner. Her research is daunting, her questions intriguing, and her analyses incisive. Solid archival documentation and a novel point of view make this book an invaluable contribution to the study of film, culture, nationhood, and empire." --The Russian Review

About The Author

Nancy Condee is on the Slavic and Film Studies faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been Director of the Graduate Program for Cultural Studies for over a decade (1995-2006) and is a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College (Oxford University). She is co-founder and co-editor of the journal Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, and serves on a number of editorial and advisory boards, including Kinokultura, Critical Quarterly, and Russian Studies in Literature. She is a member of the Russian Guild of Cinema Scholars and Critics (Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation) and is one of two US scholars annually for over a decade invited to and supported by the Kinotavr Film Festival (Sochi), Russia's leading post-socialist film festival. She has served for six years as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the largest US grant agency for social-science research in the former socialist bloc.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780195366761
  • 9780199710546