A masterpiece of editing and symbolism or an overrated spectacle? The answer is yes. If you watch the chopped up and slowed down versions that have been circulating for decades you may feel that the praise for Potemkin is undeserved. The restored, re-scored version is a revelation. See it.
Sergei Eisenstein’s jaunt into Mexico on Upton Sinclair’s dime yielded reel after reel of footage but due to politics and misfortune, he was unable to edit it together before his death. This is the version released in 1979 and it’s not perfect but the striking images and forceful vignettes make for an intriguing picture.
Note: The film was shot silent but the 1979 version has vocal narration in place of intertitles.
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for spoilers)” ]The film is a series of vignettes so there is no real end but you can bet money on a good portion of the cast dying.[/toggler]
If it were a dessert it would be:
Cookie Dough Truffles. Only half-baked but oh how tasty!
Availability: Released on DVD and via streaming. The 1979 version is, as of this writing, the only edition available on the home video market.
One of the most famous silent films ever made, one that gets shown time and again in art history classes. Yet, most of us have never seen it in its original form. Decades of censorship, re-editing and other tinkering have resulted in a slow, disjointed motion picture. Now that it has been restored, prepare yourself for a revelation.
Continue reading “Battleship Potemkin (1925) A Silent Film Review”
I don’t generally cover unfinished films but here is a major exception. Que Viva Mexico! is one of the most frustrating unrealized projects. The work of a brilliant director who was forced to abandon it for reasons both financial and political, Que Viva Mexico! is an essential component of movie history.