Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

"Of all arts, cinema is the most important for us. " (V.I. Lenin)

There is some argument about the context of this famous phrase, but the cinema's importance for the Soviet propaganda and lifestyle is beyond doubt. Moving pictures were screened everywhere: mountains and desert, sleepy provincial towns and distant villages, in trains and in churches converted into cinema theaters.

Cine Corner for the workers and farmers by Elizaveta Lavinskaya, 1920s

On the left side: What Is Cinema? On the right: How the Bourgeoisie exploits Cinema?

New movies were advertised with the help of the most talented and creative artists like Stenberg brothers, Alexander Rodchenko, Nikolai Prusakov and Israel Bograd.

A Journey to Mars by Prusakov and Borisov. 1926

Their posters were heavily influenced by Suprematism and Constructivism, and the square typeface became a trademark of the new Soviet Art. Battleship Potemkin (1925), a dramatized account of 1905 Russian naval mutiny
directed by Sergei Eisenstein, was accompanied by striking posters by Stenberg brothers:

and Alexander Rodchenko:

Posters advertising the October, the story of 1917 Revolution in Petrograd also directed by Eisenstein were probably less striking:

... but at least one of them featured Dr. Manhattan!

Their Realm (1928), shot in Georgia. Poster by Nikolai Prusakov

Soviet sci-fi: Aelita (1929). Poster by Israel Bograd.

Egyptian influence? Yes of course. Here's another example:

A poster for Moscow Chamber Theater, advertising their 1923 Paris tour. By Stenberg brothers

Dozens of foreign movies (German, American, Scandinavian) were bought for the Soviet market in 1920s, mostly comedies, melodramas and detective films.

Buster Keaton in General, 1929

Pat & Patachon (Carl Schenstrøm & Harald Madsen, Danish comedians also known as Long & Short) in Famous Travellers, 1928

Fritz Lang meets Kazimir Malevich. A poster for Doctor Mabuse by Malevich, 1927

Barbara LaMarr in the Shooting of Dan McGrew (Milord McGrew), 1927

It's only a tip of an iceberg. If you want more, we've got a new album with 79 posters. Browse it or enjoy the slideshow:

Find more photos like this on Dieselpunks

Special thanks to snegotron @ Flickr. Headline picture: Fire Man by Nikolai Prusakov, 1929

Next week: 1930s Movie Posters


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Comment by Larry on May 4, 2011 at 8:17pm
What a cool look to the posters. Very interesting and not what I would have expected.
Comment by lord_k on May 4, 2011 at 1:10pm

To Павел:

I tried to show as much little-known posters as possible. Of course there are really famous ones like "Eleventh", "Bella Donna" or "A Piece of Empire", you can find them in the album.

Comment by Павел Скрыльников on May 4, 2011 at 11:12am

I think, "exploitates" is the right word for "использовывает" =)

Great article, Lord, i've never seen none of these posters. And ads for "Battleship Potemkin" and "Their realm" are truly amazing.

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