Lyubov D. BUGAEVA
Saint Petersburg State University
Universitetskaya nab., 11, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 199034
Associate Professor of Department of History of Russian Literature
Doctor of Science in Philology
ORCID: 0000-0003-3984-8386The Bleak World of Russian NoirAbstract:
The paper discusses Russian noir, a new cul-tural phenomenon, that several contemporary Russian films and TV series exemplify. The author seeks to find out how this phenomenon differs from classic noir and neo-noir on the one hand, and from Scandi-navian or Nordic noir on the other. By skilfully ma-nipulating the viewer’s emotions, Russian noir creates a special bleak atmosphere, and the serial format con-tributes to it in many ways. Thus, it is the noir atmos-phere that distinguishes recent Russian series, in par-ticular “The Inquisitor” (2014, directed by Yuri Moroz), “Secrets of Town N” (2015, directed by Ni-kolay Khomeriki), “Dead Lake” (2019, directed by Roman Prygunov), “Storm” (2019, directed by Boris Khlebnikov), “Raid” (2017–2021, directed by Karen Oganesyan), “A Nice Guy” (2020, directed by Kon-stantin Bogomolov), and “Text”, film (2019, directed by Klim Shipenko) and a web series “Text. Reality” (2020). Filmed in the genre of the crime story (“Se-crets of Town N”, “Raid”, “A Nice Guy”), including elements of mystery and mysticism (“The Inquisitor”, “Dead Lake”), psychological crime thriller (“Storm”) and psychological crime drama (“Text”, “Text. Reali-ty”), these works demonstrate the presence of such inherent noir attributes as crime, investigation, moral ambiguity, blurred ethical paradigm of the characters, etc. What also unites them is the similarity of their spatial and temporal structure: their adherence to the poetics of indeterminacy, to dark and deserted loca-tions, to laconic interior solutions, to a certain – usu-ally bleak and cold – season and time of day. Russian noir is colored by cold “halftones”, and the world on screen appears as gloomy and disturbing. A sense of anxiety and unease forms the “background feelings” in Antonio Damasio’s terminology. The emotional landscape of these works, as well as the style of Rus-sian noir itself, is grounded in such feelings.Key words:
Russian noir, Scandinavian noir, neo-noir, TV series, indeterminacy, emotional landscape.References:
- Agger, G. (2013). The Killing: Urban Topographies of a Crime. Journal of Popular Television 2(1): 235–242.
- Agger, G. (2016). “Nordic Noir – Location Identity and Emotion”. In Emotions in Contemporary TV Series/ Edited by Alberto N. Garcia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 134–152.
- Agger, G. (2020). Realistic and Mythological Appropriations of Nordic Noir: The Cases of Shetland and Ø. In Nordic Noir, Adaptation, Appropriation. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Bergman, K. (2014). Swedish Crime Fiction: The Making of Nordic Noir. Milano and Udine: Mimesis.
- Conard, M. T. (2006). Introduction. In The Philosophy of Film Noir (The Philosophy of Popular Culture). Lexington, KT: The University Press of Kentucky, Kindle edition.
- Damasio, A. (2005). Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. Penguin Books.
- Eikhenbaum, B. M. (2016). Problemy kinostilistiki [Problems of Cine-Stylistics]. In Poetika kino. Teoreticheskie raboty 1920-kh gg.Moscow, 2016. (In Russian)
- Eisenstein, S. M. (2006). Neravnodushnaiia priroda. [Nonindifferent Nature] Vol. 2. Moscow, 2006. (In Russian)
- Freeburg, V. O. (1918). The Art of Photoplay Making. New York: The Macmillan Company, 149–162.
- Heidegger, M. (2020) Stroitel’stvo, zhitel’stvovanie, mushlenie [Building, Dwelling, Thinking]. Zhurnal Frontirnykh Issledovanii. 2020. No 1, 157–173. (In Russian)
- Katerusha, A. Kholodnaia primorskaiia Istoriia: Na Pervom kanale startuet serial “Nalyot”, kotoryi snimali v Kaliningrade [Cold See Story: The First Channel Unveils TV Series “Raid”]. Komsomol’skaia Pravda. April 10, 2017. URL: https://www.kaliningrad.kp.ru/daily/26664.5/3685757/(Accessed June 22, 2021) (In Russian).
- Lefebvre, M. (2006). Between Setting and Landscape in the Cinema. In Landscape and Film, edited by Martin Lefebvre. London: Routledge, 19–60.
- Lefebvre, M. (2011). On Landscape in Narrative Cinema.Canadian Journal of Film Studies. Vol. 1, 61–78.
- Nestingen, A. (2008). Crime and Fantasy in Scandinavia: Fiction, Film, and Social Change. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press and Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.
- Orozbaev, K. N. (2019). Khudozhestvennye osobennosti stilia noir na materiale amerikanskogo kinematografa 1940–1950s. [Noir Style in American Cinema] PhD Thesis. Moscow (In Russian)
- Pribram, D. E. (2011). Emotions, Genre, Justice in Film and Television. New York: Routledge.
- Reijnders, S. (2016). Places of the Imagination: Media, Tourism, Culture. London: Routledge
- Waade, A. M. (2013). Wallanderland. Aalborg: Aalborg University Press.
- Waade, A. M. (2020). Arctic Noir on Screen: Midnight Sun(2016-) as a Mix of Geopolitical Criticism and Spectacular, Mythical Landscapes. In Nordic Noir, Adaptation, Appropriation. Palgrave Macmillan, 37–53.
Bugaeva, L. (2021). The Bleak World of Russian Noir. International Journal of Cultural Research, 2 (43). 6–20. DOI: 10.52173/2079-1100_2021_2_6