types, the most important being START in Warsaw and Awangarda in Lvov. Mention should also be made of the experimental film work of Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, who carried on the traditions of the European avant-garde in films such as Apteka ('The pharmacy', 1930), Europa ( 1932), and Przygoda czlowieka poczciwego ('The adventures of a good citizen', 1937).
The outbreak of war in September 1939 put a definitive end to this period of artistic ferment and conflictual evolution. Over the next six years many actors, directors, script-writers, and composers lost their lives at the hands of the Nazi invaders. Others, including Józef Lejtes, Michal Waszyński, Henryk Wars, Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, Ryszard Ordyfiski, and Stanislaw Sielafiski, ended up in foreign countries, where they carried on working in their profession. After 1945 only a few of the wartime émigrés chose to return to a homeland devastated by war and now under Communist domination.
Balázs, Béla ( 1952), Theory of the Film.
Bartošek, Luboš ( 1986), Naš film: kapitoly z dëjin, 1896-1945 (' Our [Czechoslovak] film; chapters in its history'].
Hendrykowska, Malgorzata ( 1993a), ≽ladami tamtych cieni: film w kulturze polskiej przelomu stutci, 1895-1914 ( In search of distant shadows: film in Polish turn-of-the-century culture).
---- ( 1993b). Sladami tamtych cieni:film w Kulturze polskiej pr prezelomu stulci, 1895-1914.
Kosanović, Dejan ( 1986), Poceci kinematografija na tlu Jugoslawije, 1896-1918 (' The beginnings of cinema in Yugoslavia').
Ozimek, Stanislaw ( 1974), Film polski w wojennej potrzebie ( Tolish film under the stress of war').
Rittaud-Hutinet, Jacques ( 1985), Le Cinéma des origines: les frèes Lumière et leurs opérateurs.
Toeplitz, Jerzy ( 1970), Histotia sztuki filmowej ('History of film art'), vol. v.
At the end of the 1920s Soviet film enjoyed a well-deserved world-wide reputation, but within a short time the fame and influence of the great directors was lost; the golden age was brief and the eclipse sudden and long lasting. The coming of the sound film made the famous 'Russian montage' outdated, and therefore was a factor in the decline. But far more important in destroying the reputation of the Soviet cinema were the political changes that took place in the early 1930s.
From 1928 to 1932 the Soviet Union experienced a massive transformation, touching on all aspects of life. The changes introduced in the cultural sphere were part and parcel of wider changes that included forcibly collectivizing the countryside, liquidating the kulaks, and attempting to build an industrial civilization in the shortest possible time. The destruction of the moderate pluralism that had existed in the 1920s came to be called by the Stalinists, perversely, 'Cultural Revolution'. Artists were cajoled and coerced to come up with principles and methods that would be suitable in the new order. Some were passive victims, but all too often they collaborated.
Although in its golden age Soviet film was widely admired, the Stalinist leadership was dissatisfied. The Bolsheviks considered film to be an excellent instrument for bringing their message to the people, and they aimed to use it, more than any other artistic medium, for creating the 'new socialist man'. These excessively high expectations were bound to lead to disappointment: films that were artistically successful and made in a Communist spirit did not attract a large enough audience. The government wanted artistically worthwhile, commercially successful, and politically correct films. It turned out that these requirements pointed in different directions and no filmmaker could possibly satisfy them all.
The Cultural Revolution aimed to remedy what seemed a fault to the Bolshevik leaders: the most interesting and experimental works from an artistic point of view remained inaccessible to simple people. In order to make an impact on workers and peasants, audiences had to be attracted. Bolshevik policies brought about some of the desired results, and in the course of the 1930s film-going for the first time became part of the life of the average citizen. In the 1920s cinema was basically an urban entertainment, but the bulk of the people lived in villages. Now the peasantry was coerced to join collective farms and the collectives were pressured to buy projectors. Between 1928 and 1940 the number of installations quadrupled and the number of tickets sold tripled.
Images from Franciszka and Stefan Themerson's Moments musicaux (Drobiazg melodyjny). Made in Poland in 1934, the film itself is now lost, but surviving materials were collaged together by Stefan Themerson in London in the 1940s.