The New Gulliver | Chicago Reader

The New Gulliver

While not quite unified, this 1935 first feature by Alexander Ptushko exemplifies the style and ideology that came to dominate Soviet filmmaking while the innovative work of Vertov and Eisenstein was being suppressed. A group leader reads Gulliver's Travels to some Soviet youths, one of whom falls asleep, awakens in a Lilliput where the workers are oppressed, and takes their side in a rebellion against the monarchy. The stop-motion animation, mixing miniature figures with live action, is crude but fascinating, and the framing story, with the youths singing a propaganda song as a series of close-ups effaces their individual identities, reveals how close Soviet ideology was to fascism. In Russian with subtitles. 68 min.


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