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General And Slightly Off Topic Talk Forum for exchanging ideas and talking about general issues without straying too far off topic.

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Old 02-17-2008, 12:30 PM   #41
Jeffrey Meffert
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As for nevsky

I recently watched Eisenstein's classic and the message for both invaders and traitors was unmistakable. Costumes of the teutonic knights are great. Their bishops have little reverse swastikas embroidered into their vestments and the foot soldiers are wearing a slightly medevalized version of the M17 "coal scuttle".
The fact that Nevsky's image on the order is actually that of the actor from the film closes the loop.
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Old 02-17-2008, 12:46 PM   #42
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Thanks to both of you,

Medals73, this point on Lenin will be only a passing hypothesis, purely because my entire point will be to allude/show correlation between medallic propaganda between Britain, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and to show the intricate symbolism within the medals. I personally think the layout design etc. should be read and interpreted upon, as long as the conjecture is shown and addressed (like you say by stating that research has yet to be done), I agree that naming the order after him, and placing him as a central figure is part of the course, however the final design that was decided upon, is surely worthy of hypothesis? Such as the changes then made which removed the tractor and made that award from a design point of view 'simpler' in form. I do however agree with your point that there is no substitute for research and that our interpretation of this is completely different to that of "Homo Sovieticus" during the reign of the CCCP. However are not most historians guilty of placing 'their' interpretation on history, which is out of place as we always look at it through our eyes and intepret it in our way.

Jeffrey, it truly is a magnificent film (maybe I'm just biased having watched it three times so far, wow my classes were hard ;-) ), however I found it hard to watch without thinking constantly of Monty Python :-). There are so many great Soviet films that are just lost today to non-Soviet audiences, Nevsky being one, the other being Klimov's film (that I mentioned earlier), the interpretayions placed upon the final shots of the film where time is rewound by the shots from the boys rifle is truly spectacular.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:53 PM   #43
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Jeez; whew! Great stuff here!

In my opinion, the choice to feature the tractor on the first Lenin was because of the tremendous impact the tractor had on farming/feeding the country at the time. As I've said before, and I won't belabour this fact out of respect for the forum, I happen to be a Communist (35 years now) and was a graphic designer for many years. From this level of experience, I just don't believe there was a lot of "propagandic forethought" (nice) put into the Lenin 1. If it had been, the addition of the tractor would have been handled in a more "thought-out" way rather than simply "tacked-on"- which it is. I really think this is simply an example of homage to a great destiny-changing thing that has come into peoples' lives. This is, I believe, why it was so easy to omit at a later stage.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #44
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Of Nevsky, trials, and the Quest for the Holy Grail...

I guess I could make an amusing but oddly disturbing connection between the witch's trial in Monty Python's "Holy Grail" and Stalin's show trials.

-----------------

"She turned me into a newt!"

"A newt?"

"I got better."


------------------

"How do you know she's a witch?"

"She's dressed like one!"

"They dressed me like this!"


-------------------

Lions and Lenins and Tractors, Oh My!

...Brian
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:27 PM   #45
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Well I seem to have started something now :-)

Greg, communism is great, if everyone shares the same ideals, :-)

ATB,
Tom
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:53 PM   #46
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You probably want to pursue the art background of the designers; much more mileage than looking for the memo where Stalin says "and make the head bigger... and the tractor, yes it must be there to show the overthrow of the primitive order and the brith of the modern."

Socialist realism was the order of the time, and doing a bit of googling finds an "I.D. Shadr" as a revolutionary artist (sculptor) from way back. According to McDaniel "I.D. Shadr" was one of the designers of the OL. Supporting the thesis that the imagery in an award is propagandistic based on the past art and philosophy of art coming from the designers seems like a winner. If indeed it's borne out of course.
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:29 PM   #47
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Thanks Eryk so much, that is a top idea!!!!!

Tom :-)
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:16 PM   #48
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Production of tractors was a key objective during the first 2 five-year plans which focused on the mechanizasion of the farm labor. The projected and realized number of manufactured tractors was widely publicized. Even as a middle-school student in the Sov. Union in the 1980's, I was told during history classes how many thousands of these farm machines were produced during the early years of the Soviet power. In movies made during that era, one can see characters driving tractors and happily singing. In the mid and late 1930's, the focus was shifted from agriculture to heavy industry and tractor "was retired" from the propaganda front. As for Lenin being the choice for the order, allow me to speculate. It is said that Communism is religion which was meant to replace Christianity in hearts and minds of Russian people. In the Imperial Russia, orders were named after saints. Therefore, it only made sense to create a Soviet order in honor of the greatest Communist saint - V. I. Lenin.

During GPW, propaganda stressed that Russian people are fighting for their land, culture, the right to speak Russian language, not for the preservation of Communist government. Old Russian heroes were revived. Strategic operations were named after Tsar's generals Bagration and Rumyantsev. Introduction of orders Suvorov, Kutuzov, Nevsky was a part of the effort to tell Russian people that the land of their ancestors is at stake in this war.

Cheers,

Simon
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:27 PM   #49
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Thank you, Simon. You raise some important questions and issues that deserve close consideration and serious thought.

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Old 02-19-2008, 02:46 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It is said that Communism is religion which was meant to replace Christianity in hearts and minds of Russian people. In the Imperial Russia, orders were named after saints. Therefore, it only made sense to create a Soviet order in honor of the greatest Communist saint - V. I. Lenin.

Simon
And that`s why also Lenin`s corpse was dissected...
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