Grigorii Aleksandrov

Aleksandrov, Grigorii Vasil’evich

 

(pseudonym of G. V. Mormonenko). Born Jan. 10 (23), 1903, in Ekaterinburg (now Sverdlovsk). Soviet film director; People’s Artist of the USSR (1948). Member of the CPSU since 1954. Hero of Socialist Labor (1973).

In 1921, Aleksandrov became an actor in Proletkult’s first workers’ theater in Moscow. He took part in plays staged by S. M. Eisenstein. He began working in the film industry in 1924. In the films Battleship Potemkin (1925), October (1927), and The Old and the New (1929), directed by Eisenstein, Aleksandrov worked as both an actor and a codirector; in the latter two he was also a coauthor of the screenplays.

In 1934 he directed the film Jolly Boys, a musical comedy in which he employed eccentric stunts, circus devices, and techniques from the music hall, operetta, and musical sideshow. In further works he continued to develop the genre of eccentric musical comedy: he made the comedy films The Circus (1936), Volga-Volga (1938), The Blazing Path (1940), and Spring (1947). These films are filled with buoyant music composed by I. O. Dunaevskii, and they express an optimistic tone. The actors’ performances are of a high level (L. P. Orlova, I. V. Il’inskii, and V. S. Volodin). Aleksandrov filmed Meeting on the Elbe (1949), which was about the events of the first days after the conclusion of the Great Patriotic War, the biographical film The Composer Glinka (1952), and the experimental films Man to Man . . . (1958) and Russian Souvenir (1960). He wrote a number of film scripts.

Aleksandrov has taught in the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. He twice received the State Prize of the USSR (1941 and 1950). He has been awarded two Orders of Lenin as well as other orders and medals.

WORKS

“Oktiabr’ (stsenarii).” Iskusstvo kino, 1957, no. 10. (Jointly with S. M. Eisenstein.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Along with his assistant Grigorii Aleksandrov and cameraman Eduard Tisse, Eisenstein had been sent abroad in late 1929 on a mission to study sound film in the West.
Following Eisenstein's return to the USSR with his collaborators, his assistant Grigorii Aleksandrov struck out on his own, within a short time becoming one of the most celebrated directors of the 1930s.
The Musical Films of Grigorii Aleksandrov contains a short introduction and four chapters, devoted to the four films, each of which is broken down into a production history and a critical analysis in the context of Soviet and global (primarily Hollywood) filmic, musical, and broadly cultural codes, as well as ideological content.
With his famous, platinum-blonde wife Liubov' Orlova cast in the lead role, director Grigorii Aleksandrov introduced to the screen a heroine who had an inter-racial child out of wedlock.
Haynes's two major chapters are devoted to the twin juggernauts of Stalin cinema, Grigorii Aleksandrov and Ivan Pyriev, whose musical comedies came to epitomize the fraudulence of Soviet culture of the 1930s and early 1940s.
Tsirk (1936), directed by Grigorii Aleksandrov, screenplay by Grigorii Aleksandrov, cinematography by Vladimir Nil'sen and Boris Petrov (Mosfil'm).
In 1950, Grigorii Aleksandrov, whose films Jolly Fellows (1934) and Circus (1936) used American models as a basis for starting the genre of Soviet musical comedy and who had earlier studied American filmmaking alongside Sergei Eisenstein, both in the Soviet Union and in the United States, wrote in a high-profile publication dedicated to Soviet cinema's 30th anniversary: "In recent years, in capitalist countries millions of viewers have been subjected to criminal subversion by rotten servants of American imperialism, who are trying, under the banner of art, to corrupt peoples' souls and turn them into a Landsknecht army, to be used in new military adventures planned by the imperialists.
The preface to that edition, signed by Grigorii Aleksandrov, explained Johnston's appointment as the head of the MPAA as an action contributing to the "first stage in the fascistization of American cinema.
Probably, the most graphic translation of the Hollywood tradition of quality into Soviet terms was the already mentioned musical comedy Spring, produced by the connoisseur of American popular culture Grigorii Aleksandrov.
36) Grigorii Aleksandrov, "Sovetskie fil'my na zarubezhnykh ekranakh," in Tridsat' let sovetskoi kinematografii (Moscow: Goskinoizdat, 1950), 199.
Sometimes, indeed, American equipment, acquired by fair means or foul, was instrumental in creating the effects in Soviet films, from the cameras used onkey Cold War films to the Max Factor makeup which, Kapterev reveals, Grigorii Aleksandrov ordered in an attempt to conceal his wife Liubov" Orlova's advancing years in the close-ups in Vesna (Spring, 1947).
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