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 »
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 ... See full synopsis »
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 »
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 surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.
Caridad de Laberdesque
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 »
Dovzhenko's "film poem" style brings to life the collective experience of life for the Ukranian proles, examining natural cycles through his epic montage. He explores life, death, violence, sex, and other issues as they relate to the collective farms. An idealistic vision of the possibilities of Communism made just before Stalinism set in and the Kulack class was liquidated, "Earth" was viewed negatively by many Soviets because of its exploration of death and other dark issues that come with revolution. Written by
Jeff Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Soviet censors made Aleksandr Dovzhenko eliminate a number of scenes from the film, including a shot of peasants urinating in a tractor radiator and a scene where a dead man's fiancée mourns him in the nude. See more »
As my Basil was killed for a new life, so I'm asking you to bury him in a new way.
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Now I regret all the times I've railed about how propaganda is
synonymous with contempt for the audience. It is sometimes hard to know
what to say about a movie when it is a 'best of all time list'
warhorse, but not this time. I have never - ever - seen a movie with a
more deliberate, or surer, sense of rhythm. Two sequences that are
nothing but long montages of fruit are absolutely riveting. A man sits,
re-evaluating his world view, and because it takes a long time to do
that we fade to black THREE times over about a minute, without him
moving or changing position. This glacial tempo lulls us, so that
Dovzhenko can jolt us with the arrival of a speedy tractor; or a
collectivo's joyous dance through the dust over several lengthy wide
shots is disrupted by his abrupt murder. Then the movie climaxes with
an unbelievable crescendo where at least FIVE events are montaged, in
perfectly comprehensible rhetorical construction. The movie begins with
a death scene whose understated acting is mind-boggling even now,
forget 1930; the final shot balances all the anti-church rhetoric with
an image that is absolutely redemptive and spiritual, only the point is
that redemption is found in LIFE. I'm not being pompous, this movie
actually functions on that level. It achieves poetry AND propaganda in
a way that I've never ever experienced before. It kind of reminds me of
Brian Wilson's "Smile" in its modest grandeur, so true that it's
painful, but so f***ing great that you want to experience it again and
again. You can get it for free at the St. Catharines Library.
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