Since Zoya Verenskaya's husband passed away ten years ago, she has been devoted to her daughter Lee. At present, Lee is in poor health, and she is in danger of losing her eyesight. Zoya's ...
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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 »
Seamstress Mary dreams of a better life in luxury instead of her badly paid job in a sweatshop. Her dreams come true, when she draws the attention of Victor, a burgeoise, who invites her ... See full summary »
Elena P. Smirnova,
Sergei's beloved wife Yelena has passed away, and the bereaved husband is inconsolable. He remains obsessed with pictures of Yelena and with a braid of her hair that he has saved. One day, ... See full summary »
Since Zoya Verenskaya's husband passed away ten years ago, she has been devoted to her daughter Lee. At present, Lee is in poor health, and she is in danger of losing her eyesight. Zoya's suitor Dmitry wants to get married, but Zoya is determined to wait until Lee is better. Then, on a vacation in the Crimea, they learn Lee's true feelings for Dmitry, and suddenly all of their lives are thrown into turmoil. Written by
This film, "For Luck", by the great director Yevgeni Bauer, involves a love circle, but it's all about sight. Lee, the daughter, has difficulties with psychological blindness. The eyes of the actors advance much of the continuity editing, directing where shots will cut to next. The eyes are also what the actors use most of all for emoting--for expression. Bauer uses fadeouts extensively, as he does in other films, which is associative to Lee's fading sight. I don't know how much of this was intentional, but that's besides the point.
Bauer was a visual director, so it seems appropriate that he'd make a film about seeing. Although, I don't think it's his best work visually (see "After Death" (1915) and "The Dying Swan" (1917)). This was the last film of one of the first masters of the young visual medium, and it's an early picture for one of its next revolutionaries. Lev Kuleshov, who would change cinema forever with his montage experiments, was the production designer for this film and has an acting role as a painter. "For Luck" opens on a lavish set, and you can see the typically high standard of set design and mise-en-scène of Bauer's oeuvre here. The painter character has only a small role in the love circle. One of the best scenes, however, is Kuleshov, as the painter, working as a production designer--as an artist--setting up a scene for a portrait within the film's story and without in making the film. It's the passing of the torch.
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