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Film 50: History of Cinema

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
3:10 p.m. Battleship Potemkin
Sergei Eisenstein (USSR, 1925)

Lecture/ Emily Carpenter
Live Music/Judith Rosenberg on piano


(Bronenosets Potyomkin). Instructed to make a film to commemorate the 1905 revolution, Sergei Eisenstein chose to base his script on the mutiny on the battleship Potemkin of the Black Sea Fleet and the ensuing involvement of the people of Odessa. The sailors’ revolt against being served maggoty meat is both premise and metaphor for a tale told virtually entirely through images and their rhythmic juxtaposition and repetition, the purest cinema imaginable; the massacre on the Odessa steps is justifiably one of the most celebrated sequences in film history.

• Written by Eisenstein. Photographed by Edouard Tissé. With Alexander Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Alexandrov, Mikhail Gomorov. (70 mins, Silent with Russian intertitles and English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, From Kino Lorber)