This documentary promoting the joys of life in a Soviet village centers around the activities of the Young Pioneers. These children are constantly busy, pasting propaganda posters on walls,... See full summary »
"Sixth Part of the World" was the size of Soviet Union of the time. Many peoples of many customs composed it. Ice and desert, forest and ocean. Bread, furs, machines. All and every is a part of great unity.
The film chronicles the adventures of an American, "Mr. West," and his faithful bodyguard and servant Jeddie, as they visit the land of the horrible, evil Bolsheviks. Through various ... See full summary »
Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two ... 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 »
Enthusiasm, much less well-known than Dziga Vertov's other major works Kino-Eye and The Man With a Movie Camera, is nevertheless well worth a look.
The movie is subtitled Symphonia of the Donbass and portrays the implementation of the first five year plan in the industrial regions of Ukraine. If that sounds un-exciting, don't be put off this is an amazing movie that places sound the sounds of pulleys and railway wagons, steel plants, the brass bands of the Young Pioneers and the Army, of tractors in the Kolkhoz at the forefront of everything.
Framed by close-up shots of a young women (later shown to be an artist making the finishing touches to a bust of Lenin) listening to the radio via earphones, the soundtrack of the film takes on a life of its own. Its synchronization with the visual content of the film creates a highly atmospheric portrayal of work and of constant, excessive noise not just the noise of the work itself but of the streets, with their endless parades and ubiquitous brass bands.
Made in 1931, the film includes more overtly propagandistic content than The Man With a Movie Camera, made in the marginally more liberal (or at least less rigidly controlled) Soviet Union of 1929. However, for me the propaganda element is rendered almost irrelevant by the highly original soundtrack. The ponderous narrative interventions ("Here come the enthusiasts") are ultimately subsumed in the clatter of machine hammers and coal conveyors, brass music and public announcements, simultaneously distancing you from the "enthusiasm" on display and drawing you in to a kind of hyper-real portrayal of physical life (hard work, the streets, demonstrations) that makes you suddenly aware of the un-real nature of everyday urban sound when you leave the cinema. No wonder Soviet critics hated it.
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