In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Paris Commune was established in 1871 against the rich and the powerful, and violently repressed by the army that remained faithful to a ... 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 »
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered by Claudius, Hamlet's uncle. Claudius usurps the throne of Denmark, and marries Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Hamlet is tormented, haunted, and increasingly unstable.
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
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 »
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly ... 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 »
In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Paris Commune was established in 1871 against the rich and the powerful, and violently repressed by the army that remained faithful to a tamer form of Republicanism. How could the love story between a young sales girl and a soldier unable to decide if he was pro or against the radical fashion? Two short months were needed for the answer to be found - in blood and tears, and under rain that washes all past memories. Any day, a New Babylon shop will open with frilly things for the bourgeois girls. The washerwomen will be there to wash them. Written by
A few weeks before the premiere in March 1929, Soviet censors cut several scenes. This led to Shostakovich's score being dropped entirely, perhaps because it no longer matched the edited film, or because his music was considered too radical. See more »
The New Babylon was recognized as a masterpiece as early as 1929. It was rediscovered at the 1958 Bruxelles Expo but properly presented with the original Shostakovich score only in the eighties. The original Shostakovich score (opus 18) had been synchronized with the film under the personal supervision of its director Leonid Trauberg (1901-1990) and - according to Trauberg - he had never 'seen' his film in that final state before 1981. A valuable estimation of the picture can be found in Jay Leyda's KINO. One should realize that there is only one definite version of the picture: the GOSFILOMOFOND print, running for about 90 minutes at variable speed. There is however an apocryphal print about, a clipping together of the original print and approximately another 33% of out-takes. German film historians are responsible for this horrible mutilation of the original. When this version was shown in Hamburg in 1983 a press bulletin explained that scenes had been added that were once removed by censorship. However, what had been added were only discarded scenes that had been cut because they were too dull; for instance actrice Kuzmina in front of a cupboard of hat boxes or actor Sobolevsky with his wounded arm in a sling as an unlikely cabaret artist in 1871 'Gay Paris'. Director Leonid Trauberg saw this `German' version with the extra footage "that I cut out myself" and has furiously tried to prohibit its screening. A lengthy statement about the original and apocryphal print of The New Babylon was sent to various cinema museums by Trauberg in October 1983. His statement is to be found in `Eisenstein was Great Eater' - In Memory of Leonid Trauberg / Graduate Press, Buren, Netherlands, pp. 107-109 (ISBN 90-72058-07-0). The New Babylon is one of the greatest masterpieces of the Russian cinema. However the German version with its complimentary footage is a disgrace for the profession of film restoration. In fact the best guideline to follow is the original score composed for the picture by Shostakovich in 1929. Its greatest advocate is maestro Mark Fitz-Gerald from Croydon, associated with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra. If you have any doubts about music or print contact Theodore van Houten, POB 1, Haamstede, 4328 ZG-Netherlands.
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