Potemkin & Mother

Admission: 50 cents

Eisenstein's film commemorating the 1905 revolution, was based on the mutiny on board the battleship “Potemkin” of the Black Sea Fleet, although the the historical facts were somewhat adapted to create an inspired and inspiring combination of propaganda and art.
“The clarity and effectiveness of Potemkin derives from the simple, forceful narrative which justifies Eisenstein's use of ‘types' rather than fully rounded characters whose complexity might obscure the film's message. Tisse, as well as capturing the stylized visual element of Eisenstein's conception, developed new techniques to film the inexperienced players and, especially, the brilliant sequence of the massacre on the Odessa steps; he is also credited with inventing the brief, effective series of shots showing stone lions apparently rising in support of the people. The film's enduring power lies in Eisenstein's command of rhythmic editing which binds all the elements into a controlled scheme.” -“The Oxford Companion to the Film”

• Written and Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein. Photographed by Edward Tisse. Assistant Director, Grigori Alexandrov. With A. Antonov, Vladimir Barski, M. Gomorov, sailors of the Red Navy, citizens of Odessa, and members of the Proletkult Theatre. (1925, approx. 80 mins, 35mm, Russian intertitles with live English translation, Print Courtesy of Francis Ford Coppola)

is probably V.I. Pudovkin's greatest work. Like Potemkin, Mother depicts an aspect of the aborted 1905 revolt, and is the best illustration of his mastery of film technique, as well as a moving drama of revolution. Like Eisenstein, Pudovkin sought to dramatize the injustice of Czarist life; in Mother, however, the concentration is on individuals rather than on masses. His purpose is to raise the commonplace to the level of epic poem.

• Directed by Vsevolod I. Pudovkin. Screenplay by Nathan Zarkhi, based on the novel by Maxim Gorki. Photographed by Anatoli Golovnya. With Vera Baranovskya, Nikolai Batalov, A. Chistyakov. (1926, 73 mins, silent, English titles, Print Courtesy of Division of Special Programs)

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