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Le Nouveau Gulliver : montagnes russes et fantasmagorie soviétique

Abstract : The New Gulliver (1935), the first black and white Soviet animated feature film directed by Alexander Ptusko, has not been the subject of a specific study so far. The following is contextual, biographical, as well as filmic analysis. It offers a new light on the route of Ptusko (1900-1973), especially on the 1920-1930 which sees emerge his cinema. After having realized It Arrived at the Stadium (1928) and The Master of Everyday Life (1932), Ptusko took the lead of the section of the animated film of the Sovkino studios become Moskinokombinat, then Mosfilm. The politico-cultural context of the emergence of his feature film, 1927 and 1935, which brings together all the diversity of the Soviet avant-garde but sees the triumph of the dogma of socialist realism, is examined at length. Ptusko’s film seems receptive to the burlesque theories of the founders of the FEKS. The puppetisation of the characters in Ptusko’s film, the symbolic games of scale, may have originated in this movement. But how could The New Gulliver, this « film-tale », have imposed itself in the political context and resist the realistic socialist sirens or divert certain codes? Ptusko chooses a philosophical tale doubled by a political pamphlet that authorizes him to link the marvelous to the political. An audacious adaptation of Swift, a Muscovite spectacular, The New Gulliver aims to compete, with its 1 500 puppets articulated, hundreds of plastic figurines, their combination to the real shot and its 20 sets, with King Kong. Ptusko’s film provokes Chaplin’s admiration for his facetiousness. The study dissects the allegory that structures the film and seeks to identify in the staging of everything that echoes the Soviet present. And when it appears that the Lilliputian hymn, the song of the hated kingship, anticipates in an unsettling way The Ode to Stalin of 1939, it becomes certain that The New Gulliver, more than to demonstrate the invincibility of the homo sovieticus, transforms the history in a roller coaster and makes penetrate the explosive concept of uchronia.
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Pascal Vimenet. Le Nouveau Gulliver : montagnes russes et fantasmagorie soviétique. Slovo, Presses de l’INALCO, 2019, À l'Est de Pixar : le film d'animation russe et soviétique, 48-49. ⟨hal-02053274⟩

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