Film Cycle Russian Avantgardes
To coincide with the exhibition Russian Avantgardes, jointly organised by the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Fundación Caja Madrid, the Museum is presenting a cycle of Russian avantgarde cinema which complements the subject-matter of the exhibition. The latter reveals how the cultural renaissance that took place in Russia in the early decades of the 20th century covered not just the visual arts, but also music, theatre and literature, including science, technology and philosophy.
New, image-based techniques, and above all the cinema were the paradigm of the new artistic order for the Russian avant-garde, which aimed to join forces with the Revolution in order to transform everyday life. At the same time, Russian avantgarde cinema was of outstanding importance in the way that it conceived of itself as a form of artistic expression rather than as entertainment. Russian cinema of this period is characterised by its numerous innovations in both technique and subject-matter, and was considered the most progressive of its day.
The present cycle organised by the Museum features a selection of films covering almost the entire period of Bolshevik cinema from 1924 to 1934. Some are considered masterpieces of film-making, such as Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin, and Pudovkin´s The Mother. Others are rarities that are hardly ever shown, such as Aelita, Queen of Mars by Protazanov and The Strange Adventures of Mr West in the Land of the Bolsheviks by Kuleshov. Taken individually and as a group, these films clearly demonstrate why Russian cinema of this period is considered one of the high points of the history of this medium.