“Blessed are the artists—their life continues after they are physically gone, and the First Balabanov Conference is an attestation to and a confirmation of that. We are revisiting Balabanov, and I think we are doing that more profoundly, tranquilly, and closely.” – Sergey Selyanov (CTB Film Company) from The First Balabanov Conference program
Colleen Montgomery on her experience:
“This past April, I was invited to speak at the inaugural Aleksei Balabanov Conference, organized by the Russian film journal, Séance and co-sponsored by the CTB Film Company and the Russian Film Fund. The conference, held in St. Petersburg and Moscow from April 16th-19th, was the first international colloquium dedicated to the study of the Russian director’s work. The conference featured lectures delivered by a panel of scholars and critics from Russia, Spain, Italy, the United States, and Canada, as well as a series of screenings in both conference locales.
Although Aleksei Balabanov is one of the most provocative, influential, and commercially successful Russian directors of the post-Soviet era, his films have received very little scholarly attention outside of Russia. The conference thus aimed to offer new critical perspectives on Balabanov’s work, bringing together a diverse and international group of scholars engaged in studying his films.
The lecture I delivered drew and extended on a research project I began as an MA student at UBC—a portion of which is published in the Spring 2009 issue of Cinephile. My paper centered on two of Balabanov’s most widely distributed, yet very stylistically divergent films, Of Freaks and Men (1998) and Dead Man’s Bluff (2005), which, I argue offer a radical alternative to the post‑Soviet heritage film.”
ABOUT COLLEEN MONTGOMERY
Colleen Montgomery is a Ph.D. Candidate in Media Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation project examines the industrial, transnational, and gendered dynamics of vocal performance in Disney and Pixar Animation. Her work is published in Animation Studies, Cinephile, Media Industries and the Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier. Forthcoming work will appear in Music, Sound, and the Moving Image and Locating the Voice in Film: Critical Approaches and Global Practices (OUP 2015). She currently serves as co-coordinating editor of The Velvet Light Trap at UT Austin.
Montgomery’s participation in the Conference was sponsored by the Conference itself as well as CREEES (Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies) at UT Austin. The paper was presented in English and translated to Russian live for the audience. Montgomery was the Editor-in-Chief of UBC’s peer-reviewed film journal Cinephile (Volume 5, Number 1) in 2009.
- The First Balbanov Conference program
- Montgomery’s Conference paper, “Of Freaks and Gangsters: Alexei Balabanov’s Post-Soviet Revisionist Cinema”
- Montgomery’s original paper, “Post-Soviet Freakonomics: Balabanov’s Dead Men and Heritage Porn”
- Cinephile (Volume 5, Number 1)