Sergei Eisenstein Double Feature: Battleship Potemkin/Strike [2 Discs] [Blu-ray]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Battleship Potemkin
  • "Tracing the Battleship Potemkin," a 42-minute documentary on the making and restoration of the film
  • The original 1926 Edmund Meisel score, performed by the Deutsches Filmorchestra
  • Photo galleries
  • Strike
  • "Glumov's Diary", a playful experimental short that is Eisenstein's first film
  • "Eisenstein and the Revolutionary Spirit" a brief documentary that places Eistenstein's work in the context of the Communist Revolution and contemporary Soviet filmmaking

Synopsis

Battleship Potemkin
After the success of Strike (1924), Sergei Eisenstein was commissioned by the Soviet government to make a film commemorating the uprising of 1905. Eisenstein's scenario, boiled down from what was to have been a multipart epic of the occasion, focussed on the crew of the battleship Potemkin. Fed up with the extreme cruelties of their officers and their maggot-ridden meat rations, the sailors stage a violent mutiny. This, in turn, sparks an abortive citizens' revolt against the Czarist regime. The film's centerpiece is staged on the Odessa Steps, where the Czar's Cossacks methodically shoot down rioters and innocent bystanders alike. Known as "The Odessa Steps sequence," this is often considered the most famous scene ever filmed; it is certainly one of the most imitated, perhaps most overtly by Brian De Palma in The Untouchables (1987). This triumph of Eisenstein's "rhythmic editing" technique occurs in the middle of film, not as the climax, as more current film structure might do it. All the actors in the film were amateurs, selected by Eisenstein because of their "rightness" as types for their roles. Pictorial quality varies from print to print, but even in a duped-down version, Battleship Potemkin is must-see cinema. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Strike
The first full-length feature project of pantheon Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, Strike is a government-commissioned celebration of the unrealized 1905 Bolshevik revolution. The story is set in motion by a series of outrages and humiliations perpetrated on the workers of a metalworks plant. The Czarist regime is unsympathetic to the workers, characteristically helping the plant owners to subjugate the hapless victims. Finally, the workers revolt, staging an all-out strike. Here is where Eisenstein's theory of "the montage of shocks" was given its first major workout. While the notion of juxtaposing short, separate images to heighten tension and excitement was not new, Eisenstein was the first to fully understand the value of using sudden-shock images (a bloody face, a fired weapon, a descending club) to make his dramatic and sociological points. Playing to mixed reviews and small audiences in Russia, Strike proved a success worldwide, assuring Eisenstein complete creative freedom on his next project, the immortal Potemkin. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

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    Vladimir Barsky - The Capt.
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    Grigory Alexandrov - Senior Officer Gilyarousky
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    Marusov - Officer
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    Mikhail Gomorov - Sailor Motyushenko
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    I. Bobrov - Recruit
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.