The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Vivays Publishing ($35)
Don’t pick this book up in a bookstore if you need to be anywhere in 10 minutes. It is that enthralling. Following a short introduction to the subject, this book contains over 150 pages of beautifully reproduced and chronologically organized images of Russian film advertisements.
Given that film was “the most important Soviet art form” (a la Lenin), and that the population in Russia from 1900-1930 was largely illiterate, there was no small investment in the advertisements/propaganda for Soviet films of this era. Some of the finest Russian artists of the day were expressing themselves in this medium, and the amazing works preserved in this album exude the freshness and freedom of expression that was so short lived after the revolution. (And demonstrate the diversity of nationalities acting in the films during the silent era.)
Reviewed in Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2012