Doctoral studies

Vitalij Binevič (LKTI)

Dissertation theme "Erotic body in the cinema of Soviet Lithuania". Supervisor assoc. prof. dr. Lina Kaminskaitė -Jančorienė

Shot from the film "The Devil's Bride" (1973, director Arūnas Žebriūnas)

As a well-known truism states, there „was no sex in the Soviet Union”. But when investigating the history of visual arts, it is impossible to omit the need of the observer to view the erotic body. This voyeuristic inclination is especially noticeable in cinema. From its very beginnings cinematography was interested in the human nakedness – be it the famous stills of Eadweard Muybridge or early pornographic „stag” films. But how this voyeuristic urge was handled in the Soviet Union, where cinema, as another well-known truism states, was „the most important art form”? If we also take into account the strict state censorship system, this question becomes even more problematic. But when looking at some of the movies created on that historical timeframe, the eye involuntarily notices some manifestation of an erotic body. Was there indeed „no sex” in the soviet cinema?

The purpose of this scientific work is to examine how the erotic body functioned in the soviet cinema. The main attention is drawn to the local context of Soviet Lithuania and its cinematic output, which is inevitably compared with the output of central and better-known soviet cinema studios (for example, „Mosflim” or „ Lenfilm”). Both of these concrete scopic regimes are examined in the abstract history of Western thought on visual voyeurism and eroticism.