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Archive for January 10th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(USSR 1924 86m) DVD1/2

Aka. Stachka 

Never forget, comrades!

Sergei M.Eisenstein  w  Sergei M.Eisenstein, Grigori Alexandrov, Valeryan Pletnyov, Ilya Kravchunovsky, ph  Eduard Tissé, Vassili Khvatov  ed  Sergei M.Eisenstein 

Grigori Alexandrov (factory foreman), Maksim Shtraukh (spy), Mikhail Gomarov (worker), Aleksandr Antonov (member of strike committee), Yudif Glizer (queen of thieves), I.Ivanov (chief of police),

Imagine you were sitting down with someone with a deep knowledge of the seventh art, but someone who for whatever reason had never looked at Eisenstein.  Or maybe he’d been for treatment à la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to have Eisenstein removed.  Either way, then picture yourself putting this film’s DVD in the machine for him.  You watch it, he’s enthralled, amazed by the technique and the pace.  Upon finishing it and exclaiming it a masterpiece, he’s amazed to be rebuked and have you tell him that Strike was merely the smorgasbord from which Eisenstein nibbled before moving onto his main courses.  To even suggest such a film wouldn’t make my top five works of the director seems, to my hypothetical friend, the epitome of bluster.  He’d laugh.  I merely smile back at him knowingly, go off to perhaps fill each other’s glasses and murmur, rather like Alec Guinness at the end of David Lean’s famous Russian film, “ah, but Potemkin, October, Mexico, Alexander and Ivan were still to come.”  You leave the room, and go to the kitchen or the drinks cabinet, wherever you keep your beverage of choice, and find that he’s followed you.  “Explain“, he says.  Well, here’s the explanation…or rather, in attesting Strike‘s brilliance, then think to yourself how good the later stuff must be. (more…)

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