Visualized Freedom: The Film Musical as Western Utopia in Leto (2018)
Nimwegen, I.M. van
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While the film musical has seen local variations all over the world, all eyes remain on its founding origins: the Hollywood film musical. When scholars do talk about Russian musical films, the topic of writing is rarely more recent than Stalinist musicals. Contemporary Russian film musicals should, however, be considered fascinating subjects of research, especially since they are inseparably intertwined with their American origin as well as specifically national in their application of this model. This thesis explores the recent Russian film musical Leto (2018), wherein the characters, Russian rock musicians, express their longing for Western freedom in utopian musical scenes. It therefore takes a step into an intercultural direction by providing an understanding of how the typically American film genre, carefully complemented with pre-existing American music for Leto's escapist musical scenes, gives meaning to the film musical outside of its diegesis.