Television-Commissioned Films in the History of the Riga Film Studio. Cinematic Language and Genesis of Stylistics | pp. 6-21 | PDF

Daira Āboliņa
University of Latvia 

Abstract. The research is focused on the development of the means of artistic expression applied in the cinema of a specific time period (1966–1989), analysing the films made at the Riga Film Studio (Rīgas Kinostudija), commissioned by the Central Television of the USSR. Both innovative and formal solutions can be found in the films of that era, especially considering the creation of the two-part format. The current publication focuses on the genesis of the artistic and production processes of the film “Lielais dzintars” (“The Great Amber”, “Dziesma par Rīgu” / “A Song About Riga”, 1972), in the context of the cinema development of that time, based on the documents of the Latvian State Archives of the Latvian National Archives. The inclusion of humorous elements in the film’s narrative, the use of music, visually impressive Latvian landscapes on the screen, an international cast corresponding to the scale of the USSR, was a way to sell the film to the customer. Riga Film Studio and its authors agreed to modify the script and film several times, subjecting themselves to artistic compromises. Censorship in the USSR realized its ideological goals by idealizing the Soviet man’s way of life, destroying the narrative and aesthetics of the film “Lielais dzintars”.

Keywords: Aloizs Brenčs, the film “Lielais dzintars”, the Central Television of the USSR, censorship, Latvian cinema, musical film, the 20th century

In: Media and Society, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Mediji un sabiedrība, 2022. Rakstu krājums. Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 173 p.