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After Death (1915)

Posle smerti (original title)
Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vitold Polonsky ...
Olga Rakhmanova ...
Kapitolina Markovna, his aunt
Vera Karalli ...
Zoya Kadmina
Mariya Khalatova ...
Her mother (as M. Chalatova)
Tamara Gedevanova ...
Her sister (as T. Gedevanova)
Marfa Kassatskaya ...
Princess Tarskaya (as M. Kasazkaya)
Georg Asagaroff ...
Andrei's friend (as Georgi Azagarov)
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Storyline

Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. After watching the actress Zoya Kadmina perform, Andrei is fascinated with her, and is then astounded to receive a note from her. He has only one brief meeting with her, and then three months later he is shocked to learn of her death. He now becomes obsessed with her memory, and he decides that he must find out all that he can about her. Written by Snow Leopard

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Drama

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Release Date:

7 March 1995 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

After Death  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
BAUER'S CAMERA CREATES HAUNTING BEAUTY
23 February 2004 | by (Atlanta, Georgia) – See all my reviews

Yevgeni Bauer's "Posle Smerti" is not a feature length film but for its sheer brilliance alone in terms of cinematic technique it deserves worthy mention alongside D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" as one of the best films of 1915 and one that ranks big among the silent film classics.

At its root, it is a tale of the battle between the spirit world and the world of the living as Russian legend Vera Karalli's character attempts to seduce Vitold Polonsky's character from beyond the grave. Polonsky himself was the reason for the girl's death and it is an added element that he must deal with.

But beyond the story lies Bauer, who actually might have better understood the technique of lighting, tinting, and panning even more than the American Griffith. Of particular mention are his conscious efforts to relate the girl ghost as coming out of the shadows when she makes her appearances on earth, darker at first and then lighter as she gets closer to Polonsky. His purposeful approach to brighten her first appearance to the point where her face is a glowing ball of whiteness is remarkable.

The world of the living has its tone set in various tints...yellow at the outset, blue to reflect the night time, an appropriate red for the darkroom where Polonsky views his photographs, pink for Polonsky's first appearance in the social circle in some time (as he plays a recluse), and flat black and white to illustrate the ghost world.

The pinkish tones for Polonsky's social gathering, where he first views the tragic Karalli, is arguably the best scene of the film as the camera slowly pans from group to group to reflect the guests surprise that Polonsky has come at all. The story itself is quite engaging but has nowhere near the impact of Bauer's technique.

DVD watchers will also find a delightful surprise in the new score composed for the film by Nicholas Brown and performed by the ensemble Triptych. The violin-cello-piano score sets every tone imaginable at the appropriate time taking the viewer on a journey from peace to intrigue, to torment, and even terror.

The nutshell: worth watching for cinematic technique and the music alone. A possible precursor to Weine's "Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari" in terms of lighting and direction. The story sets Bauer up as Russian film's answer to Edgar Allan Poe...8/10.


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