Zvenigora stars Nikolai Nademsky (Earth), as the grandfather of Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko), whom he alerts to secret treasure buried in the mountains and the boy spends the rest of his ...
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Set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the World War I, a recently demobbed soldier, Timosh, returns to his hometown Kiev, after having survived a train wreck. His arrival coincides ... See full summary »
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
After the critical lambasting of his masterpiece Earth, Dovzhenko returned with a more popular iteration of its main motifs. Much like Earth, Ivan concerns itself with the natural rhythms ... See full summary »
A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to ... See full summary »
A five-person team of gold prospectors in the Yukon has just begun to enjoy great success when one of the members snaps, and suddenly kills two of the others. The two survivors, a husband ... See full summary »
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »
A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.
A Russian outpost in Eastern Siberia comes under threat of attack by the Japanese in this patriotic film from 1935. Aerograd is a new town with a strategically located airfield of vital interest to the government.
Zvenigora stars Nikolai Nademsky (Earth), as the grandfather of Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko), whom he alerts to secret treasure buried in the mountains and the boy spends the rest of his life trying to find... See full synopsis »
In the 2012 Sight & Sound Directors Poll of the Greatest Films of All Time, Guy Maddin put Zvenigora on his top ten list along with such films as Malick's The Tree of Life, Buñuel's L'Age d'Or, and Vigo's Zero de Conduite. See more »
With Eisenstein - scientist of film, scholar - it was about synthesized image that opened eyes with conflict of the individual parts. It was a studied thing, architectural. This, on the other hand, is what they were fond of calling back then a 'cinematic poem'. So, yes, the stanza is evocative of soul, the rhythm seductive with earthly lyricism; you can see how all this is later revitalized again into poetry with Tarkovsky.
Yet even though the heart is old world, dwelled by spiritual yearnings about the past and rural pageantry - the protagonist is an old man who escorts us through legend or memory - the eye is unerringly modern; it sees in ways that, now with hindsight, we can recognize as distinctly cinematic and only possible with the camera.
So an old battle is diffused with dreamlike ambiance, reconstructed mechanically by actors moving like tinker-toys, but modern life is dazzling where shown; dynamic, disorienting. There are some amazing shots of electric city night humming with motion that I will keep with me. It is ultimately about these two worlds briefly coexisting in the same frame, one rushing against the other, clashing or making way for the locomotion forwards.
Oh, there is the brief forray into civil war, and the brave, statuesque Red officer who must order his own firing squad. But elsewhere the Reds are shown to flee a village in defeat. The politics are ambivalent, mere footnote in the larger flow and pull.
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