Small Generators of Desire. On the Meronimic Function of Objects in Ivan A. Pyr’ev’s Cinema

Irina Marchesini


In a recent article, Olaf Möller has stressed the enigmatic character of Pyr’ev’s production, referring in particular to his “political wisdom” and to his profound understanding of the Soviet mind-set. “For Pyr’ev,” writes Möller, “cinema meant intelligent entertainment for the masses – a people’s art. He made films to be thoroughly understood, and he knew that stories and images everybody knew were a short-cut to the collective unconscious, the dream life of a nation, its desires and fears, angels and demons. He knew what people longed for” (2012: 215).

On the basis of these premises, the essay analyses how desire is built within Pyr’ev’s language. Particular attention is devoted to the relationship between gaze, film and stimulation of desire. Drawing from the theoretical frameworks provided by the Soviet cultural studies and the so-called “gaze theories”, this study examines several films belonging to the genre of the Kolchoz musical comedy, such as Svinarka i Pastuch (1941) and Kubanskie Kazaki (1950). 


Pyr’ev; Gaze Theories; Soviet Musical; Soviet Culture; Desire

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