The Soviet era of Russia is known for its radical changes in the not only the political, but also social lives of everyday comrades. The film industry under the Soviet Union took a surprising turn under the direction of the new chairman, Boris Shumiatskii. Shumiatskii changed the role of film from a vehicle to promote official values to a more entertaining and enjoyable experience.
One example of such a film was the wildly popular Happy-Go-Lucky Fellows. http://www.soviethistory.org/bigScreenVideo.php?SubjectID=1934film&Year=1934&navi=byYear This clip from the musical directed by Grigorii Aleksandrov shows a much more jovial side of film. Unlike the film, Bed and Sofa, which we viewed in class, the new Soviet film doesn’t include deep or heavy themes. The musical includes a band who begins playing and descends into a comical routine in which they have a large fight amongst the entire group. It is very similar to The 3 Stooges in its dimwitted humor and childish violence. It seems as if it’s purely made for the enjoyment of the masses. In an article written by Shumiatskii, he fawns over Happy-Go-Lucky Fellows. He loves that it is “an optimistic film sprinkled with joy, laughter and merriment.” He also says “the film is a marvvelous relaxation and audiences that have seen The Happy-Go-Lucky Fellows will find it easier to work afterwards.” (B. Z. Shumiatskii, Kinematografiia millionov (Moscow, 1935))
B. Z. Shumiatskii, Kinematografiia millionov (Moscow, 1935)
Geldern, James Von. Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. http://www.soviethistory.org/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1934film&Year=1934&navi=byYear