A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to ... See full summary »
100.000.000 peasants - illiterate, poor, hungry. There comes a day when one woman decides that she can live old life no longer. Using ways of new Soviet state and industrial progress she changes life and labor of her village.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
This documentary promoting the joys of life in a Soviet village centers around the activities of the Young Pioneers. These children are constantly busy, pasting propaganda posters on walls,... See full summary »
Jean, the hairdresser, is flabbergasted: what is that baby his girlfriend Lisa has put in his arms out of the blue? The fruit of love? Out of the question. From that moment on, the ... See full summary »
In the 2012 Sight & Sound Directors Poll of the Greatest Films of All Time, Guy Maddin put Zvenigora on his top ten list along with such films as Malick's The Tree of Life, Buñuel's L'Age d'Or, and Vigo's Zero de Conduite. See more »
In 1973, "Zvenigora" was restored and further distributed by the Mosfilm, with addition of the musical part composed and conducted by Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov. This version has a running time of 92 minutes. See more »
With Eisenstein - scientist of film, scholar - it was about synthesized image that opened eyes with conflict of the individual parts. It was a studied thing, architectural. This, on the other hand, is what they were fond of calling back then a 'cinematic poem'. So, yes, the stanza is evocative of soul, the rhythm seductive with earthly lyricism; you can see how all this is later revitalized again into poetry with Tarkovsky.
Yet even though the heart is old world, dwelled by spiritual yearnings about the past and rural pageantry - the protagonist is an old man who escorts us through legend or memory - the eye is unerringly modern; it sees in ways that, now with hindsight, we can recognize as distinctly cinematic and only possible with the camera.
So an old battle is diffused with dreamlike ambiance, reconstructed mechanically by actors moving like tinker-toys, but modern life is dazzling where shown; dynamic, disorienting. There are some amazing shots of electric city night humming with motion that I will keep with me. It is ultimately about these two worlds briefly coexisting in the same frame, one rushing against the other, clashing or making way for the locomotion forwards.
Oh, there is the brief forray into civil war, and the brave, statuesque Red officer who must order his own firing squad. But elsewhere the Reds are shown to flee a village in defeat. The politics are ambivalent, mere footnote in the larger flow and pull.
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