Quotations: “I'm sure no artist should close his eyes to life because he'll miss the most important things and because any self-appraising, withdrawing into oneself is the beginning of the end in art, the end of communication. The force of the artist is his ability to express his opinion about life which is common to everybody and therefore understandable to everybody.”
Began as an actor in the FEKS studio, 1924. Acting debut: The Bears Versus Iudenich, 1925. His best films (all directed by G. Kozintsev and L. Trauberg).
Originally an actor with the Factory for Eccentric Actors, he only began directing in the 1930s, attempting whenever possible “to show a piece of life".
Anybody could see that Quiet Flows the Don is flatulent melodrama dressed up as if it were Tolstoy and filmed without taste, talent, or a sense of the moment. One had only to recollect that Russian art was also represented by Nabokov to realize that the leaden handicaps to Russian cinema had kept it as yet from the main event.
Gerasimov was also in charge of acting and directing at the Soviet Institute of Cinematography and a member of the State Committee for Film.
Gerasimov was one of those sleepy animals in the Soviet zoo, but inured to captivity and regarding it as a natural state. In 1969 he was interviewed for Film and gave this unprincipled statement of the necessary alertness in the artist/bureaucrat in Russia:
The potential for sudden change inflicted on society from above had for years overawed the creative spirit in Russia. How essential it was for a Gerasimov to be ready to jump in newly perceived directions. In 1947, for instance, while he was directing the first part of it. The Young Guard was revealed to be based on unviable notions. But dialectic found a way, and Gerasimov went back on his tracks, expunging the unworthy. He had the credentials that admit a Soviet artist to high of fice.