"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.
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.
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:
Posters advertising the October, the story of 1917 Revolution in Petrograd also directed by Eisenstein were probably less striking:
Egyptian influence? Yes of course. Here's another example:
Dozens of foreign movies (German, American, Scandinavian) were bought for the Soviet market in 1920s, mostly comedies, melodramas and detective films.
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:
Special thanks to snegotron @ Flickr. Headline picture: Fire Man by Nikolai Prusakov, 1929
Next week: 1930s Movie Posters