ASU Promoting Russian Culture Through Cinema


SAN ANGELO, TX — Angelo State University's Russian Enrichment Program will host a presentation by Dr. Denise Youngblood, a Professor of History Emerita at the University of Vermont, on Tuesday, February 20, in the Angelo State Academic Building, 2502 Dena Drive.

Titled "Americanitis: American Influences in Soviet Cinema from the Revolution to the Death of Stalin," the presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 135 of the Academic Building and is free and open to the public.

During her presentation, Youngblood will explain how a century ago, Soviet citizens were fascinated by American culture, especially its wealth, consumer goods and lively entertainment, like jazz and dance crazes. Most noteworthy was their love of American movies, which dominated Soviet screens in the 1920s and continued influencing Soviet directors even after most American films were banned in the 1930s.

Soviet Movie Poster

Soviet Movie Poster

(Credit: Angelo State University)

How early Soviet directors adapted the Hollywood style of entertainment films to their own themes will also be explored, as well as how Americans were depicted as characters in these movies. This discussion will start with a zany satire, "The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks" (1924), move on to an over-the-top musical, "The Circus" (1936), and end with a World War II thriller, "Meeting on the Elbe" (1949).

Youngblood will also look at Stalin's passion for American movie Westerns and the importance of American films captured during WWII, which led to the explosive postwar popularity of Tarzan in the USSR. 

A leading specialist in the history of Russian and Soviet cinema, Youngblood is the author of seven books and numerous articles on the subject. She is particularly interested in popular films, especially war films and American-Soviet cinematic relations. She taught history at the University of Vermont from 1988-2017, also serving five years as department chair and three years as vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Youngblood's ASU presentation is sponsored by the Department of English and Modern Languages and the ASU Russian Club. ASU's Russian Enrichment Program hosts guest speakers and other presentations during each academic year to encourage the study of the Russian language and culture.

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.


Most Recent Videos

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close