Socialist Realism, The Cherished Genre Of The Stalin Era

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Socialist Realism, the cherished genre of the Stalin era which brought random bits of musical joy to everyday Soviet life. During this period, only a select few films would get the pass for creation. This created a limited but precise pool of films that depict the ideals of the time. For a film to be considered of the Socialist Realist genre, a few key points should be displayed throughout the film. First, the characters must carry the philosophy of viewing their past and Russia’s past not just from where they stand now but from the certain gains of the future. For a Socialist Realist, the past is lower and less developed, thus there is a sense of ignorantly blind positivity in the character’s mindset on how they perceive the future. The…show more content…
The choice of a Socialist Realist film being set in a circus is ideal. Characters interacting within a circus can create a beautifully condensed rendition of a society and how it should be functioning. As Salys states in the book, The Musical Comedy Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov: Laughing Matters, “The circus as a metaphor/ microcosm of the world has a long pedigree in cinema…” (2009, p. 169). This might be why Circus was so successful during its release. The circus setting frames the tragedies that fall upon the characters with seamless light-hearted and slap-stick humor. Socialist Realism requires characters and viewers to stay positive in the face of adversity by always seeking the future. Everyday settings cannot give a constant positive cushion. In addition, a circus setting provides an excuse for directors to incorporate over the top acting, effects, and scenes that are needed to simulate the future ideal of the Communist utopia. The references of a Communist utopia in Circus are easy to disregard as general fantasy plot ideas because a circus is already a makeshift form of utopia from the outside world. Which proves the Socialist Realist idea of subtle integration of the ideal future of Communist life. During the creation of Circus, the directors knew that a utopian vision was crucial and that during their modern day the “…environment, saturated with energy and optimism, plays a large role. Every detail of the film, even one that is
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