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Child of the Big City (1914)

Ditya bolshogo goroda (original title)
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 »

Director:

Yevgeni Bauer

Writer:

Yevgeni Bauer
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Elena P. Smirnova Elena P. Smirnova ... Manetschka / Mary (as Elena Smirnova)
Nina Kosljaninowa Nina Kosljaninowa ... Manetschka as child
Michael Salarow Michael Salarow ... Viktor Krawzow
Arsenii Bibikov Arsenii Bibikov ... Kramskoi, his friend
Emma Bauer Emma Bauer ... The dancer
Leonid Jost Leonid Jost ... The lackey
Lidiya Tridenskaya Lidiya Tridenskaya ... The washerwoman
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Storyline

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 for dinner and makes her a lady. But, about a year later, she has become tired of him, and thanks to her his money is almost gone. When he asks for settling down outside the big city, where his money should be enough for a modest living, she breaks with him picks up a new lover. Victor is trying to shoot her, than himself, but finally gives up. A year later, he is living in a shabby, cold room under the roof, still trying to meet her again, a thing she definitely refuses, and showing him her feelings towards him, by ordering that he should get three Rubels when he leaves the stairs to her house. This has predictable results. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Plot Keywords:

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Genres:

Drama | Short

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Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

5 March 1914 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Child of the Big City See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Draped in Theatre
20 June 2005 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

This is early in the short film-making career of Yevgeni Bauer, perhaps the greatest director of the 1910s, even when considering D.W. Griffith. Bauer quickly mastered the medium, with films such as "After Death" (1915) and "The Dying Swan" (1917). That, however, is not visible here. "Child of the Big City" isn't very different from other films of the time. The storytelling is rather traditional, although the content might seem especially despairing to one not familiar with such Russian preferences. The end is starkly to the point, but Bauer doesn't accomplish such in the rest of the film.

Bauer's direction isn't very advanced, although it remains impressive compared to many contemporaries. The camera is mostly stationary, with long takes. There are some exceptions in camera placement, such as the overhead angled shots. There are some moments of fine continuity editing, but Bauer seems to have mostly concentrated on filling scenes with props. I noticed two dolly shots, but the one of the dancer contains jump cuts. Additionally, the low-key lighting in one scene creates a silhouette of Vicktor.

What I found most interesting, however, were the shots through windows, doors, and archways, but especially through drapery. Bauer hung drapery in the bedroom of the most impressive scenes in "Twilight of a Woman's Soul" (1913). In "Child of the Big City", it's a reminder of the theatricality of the film. How the characters remove the curtains during some scenes seems artificial, as well.


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