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That was an Eastern Bloc mainstay -- or should I say, are still an ex-Eastern-Bloc mainstay, if you go to any unrenovated village pub or poor old people's kitchen. (Or, were they absent in Russia when you were there?)

I don't remember seeing them in Russia.  Not the plastic ones.  Maybe people busted out their nice linen ones for the Americans or something.  Or I could be amnesiac.  Or blocked the terrible memory from my mind.

This may have a more cynical reason: a lack of hope that politics would address these issues, and/or a feeling that problems are 'deeper' than public policy. So what you say about social realism could get a new meaning: the filmmakers see the problem deeply entrenched in society (which is both a product of and a producer of the individuals' attitudes).

I agree.  That's a very good point.

its effect was used consciouses and became typical of Central European film in the eighties, in a slate of incredibly depressing films.

So do you think it's related that genre?  I was just noting that it doesn't seem to be dimly lit to drive home the depressing stuff, but to drive home the gritty realism.  Film is lighting, so lighting is never unintentional, it's always a choice.  Of course, lack of funds influences your choices.  :)

How I Celebrated the End of the World

Super - thanks!

BTW, I saw The Peculiarities of National Fishing.  Funny stuff.


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe people busted out their nice linen ones for the Americans or something.

That is a possiblity, for homes. Standard procedure: nice linen one used only on Sundays and for guests ( => needs to be washed less often, no new one has to be bought). As for pubs and self-service restaurants, nice linen ones, fuggetaboutit.

Another possibility is that Russia was different and never had those plastics (my first-hand experiences extended from East Germany to what is now Montenegro). Then again, we were in an economic community, the Ecofin, in which production of certain goods was centralised into single countries, and it may well have been that those plastic table cloths were all exported by the same company to everywhere.

So do you think it's related that genre?

Nnno, I don't dare to say that, just that the cinematography is re-used as tool for similar (but not identical) reasons. I note those eighties films were so depressing in an attempt to be realistic: they wanted to show life as it is not shown in either official propaganda or Western escapist movies, and what was missing from those was the dark and bleak stuff.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 04:55:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we were in an economic community, the Ecofin

Eh hehe, I mean Comecon.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 05:02:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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