Night & Day Archives » Night & Day

Quiet, Socialist


All this talk of universal health care and socialism makes us yearn for the days of the Bolsheviks, when the workers rose up and smashed their oppressors. The folks at the Webster Film Series are way ahead of us, having already scheduled Kino Pravda!, an eight-film slate of classic Soviet cinema from the silent age. And of course, there's no better way to launch such a program than with Sergei Eisenstein's revered tale of the failed Odessa sailors' revolt of 1905, The Battleship Potemkin. You wanna see some socialist propaganda, well, you can't find anything much more influential and Red than this one (no lie!). Faced with rotten food and lousy treatment from their officers, the brave men of the Potemkin mutiny and urge all of their civilian brothers and sisters to do the same. And everything's coming up Commie, until the Czar's cavalry arrives with guns blazing, and then sweeps the great white steps of Odessa clean in an iconic — and incredibly violent — scene often imitated by other filmmakers. Eisenstein's masterful editing was revolutionary (ha!) in 1925, and his use of violence to inspire sympathy in the audience (and more than a little rage toward oppressors everywhere) was likewise unprecedented. His feelings about soundtracks were also pioneering, in that he wanted the movie re-scored every twenty years so it would always sound contemporary — and so tonight's 7:30 p.m. screening at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or features live musical accompaniment by the Steve Schenkel and Paul DeMarinis Trio. Tickets are a worker-friendly $5 to $6.
Fri., Sept. 18, 2009

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