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Battleship Potemkin (1925)

ID: 2944
Starring: Aleksandr Antonov Vladimir Barsky Grigori Aleksandrov Ivan Bobrov Mikhail Gomorov
Director: Sergei Eisenstein
Category: Drama
Video: Standard 1.33:1 B&W
Audio: [None]
Length: 119 mins
Release Date: 2004-02-24
Rental: $ 4.00

>> Review It

The Battleship Potemkin, one of the most famous and influential films in the history of cinema and containing one of the best known sequences ever filmed, is a screen gem that shines with technical brilliance and dynamic energy. Acclaimed director Sergei Eisenstein shook the world when he released this celebration of the 1905 uprising against tsarism in Russia. The film begins with sailors on the battleship Potemkin refusing to eat maggot-ridden food and ends with a glimpse of the possibility of change. What ensues is a stunning catalog of events that detail the brutality of the tsarist regime, most notably the now famous massacre on the Odessa Steps, referred to so many times in other films (The Untouchables, Brazil, Bananas, The Birds), that it has become a permanent part of the cinematic consciousness.

Stylistically, The Battleship Potemkin serves as a revolutionary film, not only in its subject matter, but also in its unique use of montage. As a pioneer who championed a new purpose for cinema, Eisenstein proposed a "kino first" approach to filmmaking, on in which the film attacks the viewer's senses with symbolic metaphors, rhythmic editing, and highly-charged melodrama. His cinema also demanded an active audience who must participate in the creation of meaning by gathering together the broken pieces of montage, and assembling them into a new reality. With his manipulative techniques, Eisenstein helped develop the film language that we know and recognize today. Just take a look at the shower scene in Hitchcock's Psycho, the killing spree in Coppola's The Godfather, or the opening of Don't Look Now, and try not to deny its influence and its steadfast power.

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