Why Soviet Science Fiction seventies there was no chance of winning?

«He’s the same as me. Only a small and primitive, «- he said in the Soviet film» His name was Robert «humanoid robot. He was referring to the puppet clown, who wore on his hand.

It is this verbal formula has to designate inherently unequal Soviet fantasy genre fiction and literary seventies, publish in Russian at the same time. On the one hand — trёhrublёvaya rag doll. On the other hand — a complex mechanism designed to explore distant planets. Agree devilish difference.

I and my peers in the seventies Book deficit did not interfere to produce fiction, finding it wherever possible. We read good books with the stamp of «science fiction», thin stalked publication in journals — and the best science fiction writers, local and otherworldly, taught us to think. In children and Lithuanian editions indicated the «Day of the middle and older age» — and it was, for example, «Inhabited Island» or «House of wanderers.» In those years, we have re-read several times and the Strugatsky Mirer long ago discovered the difficult worlds Wyndham and Bester had sadden with Bradbury, puzzled together with Lem and laugh with Shackley. And on the screens of the USSR were shown between films such as «Orion’s Loop» or «Star Inspector» taken as support for the students of schools, adjusted for delayed development.

Two tape Andrei Tarkovsky, which formally took place on the same «department», leave right now outside of our conversation — the more fantastic story that the director is not particularly valued. But ordinary, genre sci-fi movie that could be seen on the screens of the Soviet Union … A black hole, and more! Like the factory sewing machines with conveyor which, according to the Soviet anecdote after assembly inevitably went Kalashnikov our film studio in those years over again released classified as «fiction» something neudobosmotrimoe. In the credits sometimes were listed nebeznadёzhnye directors, the main role is sometimes played decent actors (the title role in «the Star Inspector» played, for example, Vladimir Ivashov) and consultants were great scientists (like Joseph Shklovsky and Roald Sagdeeva who helped create «Orion’s Loop «). But the final outcome is still not affected. Coming out of the cinema halls in the state of lung awesome, we shook their heads, unable to comprehend that if science fiction writers believe we have enough adults and peers, then why science fiction writers of the movie take us for idiots infantile?

Nostalgia clouding objective view, but still can not replace one color other time. Even the genre ribbon seventies, which we now remember with nostalgic warmth — for example, a very popular once-part film «Moscow — Cassiopeia» and «Teens in the Universe» — was charming and convincing in the «Earth» episodes, and, to put it mildly, are silly in the «alien» (ie, science fiction, genre) scenes. As a professional screenwriter Zack and Abner Isai Kuznetsov worked on the script of the Novels, they presumably knew about the existence of the film «2001: A Space Odyssey» by Stanley Kubrick, read Clarke, Asimov, Lem, and others. Both the writer and director Richard Viktorov Novels probably guessed that their films will run primarily lovers of literary fiction look familiar with its major conflicts — including a plot of the robots revolt. Why it was necessary to reinvent the wheel, but still tricycle for malyshni? V ‘Kubrick audience witnessed a deadly battle with Homo sapiens electronic brain, and the battle was unpredictable. In this case, the same plot premise squeeze into kindergarten framework and covered rhymes «A and B were sitting on the tube.» No one demanded that the authors of the youth movie convoluted plot gambit, but who would not be angered if under the guise of chess you vparivayut game of tag?

The last thing I want to blame the creators kinodilogii of young travelers in the constellation Cassiopeia. These films (largely, I repeat, very nice, with good young actors, with a thumbs up soundtrack, with pleasant visuals) are merely illustrative of the general processes taking place in the late Soviet cinema. It would seem, who prevented the move to the screen works published in our country — that is, passed through a sieve strict Glavlit and pass the test of loyalty? Why could not film «Half Life» or «the last war» Bulycheva? «It is very distant Tartessus» Voiskunsky and Lukodyanova? «Leopard from the top of Kilimanjaro» Larionova? «Vincent van Gogh» Gansovsky? The film of this story took off in Germany, and not with us. However, heads of film and television ran like the devil from holy water, from the smart and serious genre bands, and as a result pre-fiction glued label carelessly, inferiority and razvlekuhi.

Even the presence — in rare cases — Flawless literary basis does not save the situation. If you remember, it was in the seventies in the movie debut short film «The Return of Dr.» director Andrew Ermash. Despite the good scenario primary sources — stories «Hood and back,» Janusz A. Seidel and «Sound Machine» Roald Dahl — and the participation of an experienced scriptwriter Valentin Yezhov (one of the authors of «White Sun of the Desert», by the way), the film turned out to be extremely obscure. It is understood that the son of the chief of the Soviet kinonachalnika Philip Ermash possessed directorial talent, and a few years later it proved miserable «Moon Rainbow» and «The End of Eternity.» But if Andrew Philipovich swung, for example, to the classics, it would still accurately odёrnuli, despite the father. But the genre of fantasy genre was vulnerable and defenseless.

I think anyone who has read the published correspondence Strugatsky, said that ninety percent of their proposed film projects eventually fell into cart editorial — and well even if not required by the writers return the advance payment. Arkady and Boris Natanovich Natanovich scribbled mountain of paper, spent a lot of time, and — with rare exceptions — all in vain. So it was not realized film project «Man of the underworld.» We have not seen at the time the film version of the novel «Monday begins on Saturday» — instead we have fed the New Year musical «Magicians». And before that, just treated with the «June 31» Priestley: a story full of subtle humor (we read it!), Turned into a lowly act with songs and dances. The songs were melodic, choreography — not bad, but from the fiction Priestley left a trace.

Two kinds of art in the Soviet communal living through stenochku and in the morning greeted politely. But in the same room we have split the atomic nucleus and the other burning torch and still not smart enough to steam engine. Have you tried to compare polyphonic «City» Simak with straightforward propaganda «silence Dr. Evans?» It’s like put on a series of «Appassionata» by Beethoven with the «finch-fawn.» Remember, as in the story of Vonnegut’s «Harrison Bergeron» handsome makeup for freaks, athletes hung on chains, people with perfect pitch muffled cacophony — not to stand out? The analogy is apt. The main problem of our science fiction movie was not poverty effects (it could have been forgiven and experience), but the notorious hackneyed plots and deliberate poverty of thought. Hollywood ahead of us on a whole epoch, not because «Mosfilm» was poorer Paramount Pictures or we did not have the special effects wizard Carlo Rambaldi level. Simply the visual arts — cinema and theater in the first place — the Soviet Union were considered more intelligible and therefore potentially more dangerous in the sense of «Western contagion.» Every officer held on to his seat. No one wanted to risk it. It is better to err, perebdet, crop, remove from harm’s way — what if something happened …

Well, nothing happened.

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