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Lecture on 15 Feb 2006

16th January 2006

Dear All
I'm afraid the lecture "Moscow – an architectural history" by professor Lindsey Hughes has been postponed.

Instead, Daniel Levitsky has kindly agreed to speak on Soviet and Russian cinema and the talk will be illustrated with TV and Video.

The Russian Revolution was one of the defining moments of the twentieth century, both for Russia itself and the world. This talk looks at the way these dramatic and formative events were brought to life on the Soviet screen, a process which began principally with Eisenstein’s classic October of 1927, made to celebrate the Revolution’s tenth anniversary. The Revolution, however, marked much more than the founding of the Soviet government; it provided an historical template for Soviet rulers to assert their own versions of the past. The growth of an official myth of the revolutionary events, through films released from the 1930s to the 1960s, will form the focus of this talk, as we trace the cinematic disappearance of many revolutionary leaders as they were removed in the Stalinist terror, followed by the disappearance of Stalin himself after his death in 1953. From the drama of the storming of the Winter Palace to quiet scenes of family life under revolutionary struggle, this talk will demonstrate how the Soviets wanted to use cinema to establish the revolution as the decisive moment in the creation of a new world.

Daniel Levitsky completed his BA at the University of St. Andrews in Modern History and Russian, before going on to undertake a Master’s at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, where he is now teaching Soviet Film and Russian Government, as well as completing his PhD on post-Stalin Soviet film. Daniel has worked in Moscow, arranging conferences on Russian politics and financial markets, and more recently has written several articles on Soviet art and cinema.

Best wishes
Ute

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