Foreign Language Thursday: Battleship Potemkin (1925)

20 07 2011

Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 masterpiece remains as one of the most influential films ever made. It tells the simple, yet powerful, story of the Russian naval mutiny which led to protests onshore. It is based on a true event and that comes through in the very natural progression of the films events. This classic is quite well deserving of it’s constant high regard due to its intense nature, flowing construction, and iconic scenes.

Many dramatic films of the silent era are enhanced by an orchestrated soundtrack that goes along with them and “Battleship Potemkin” is perhaps supported the best by it’s. Music often highlights atmosphere and tone within a scene but here is helps to parallel to actual film. “Battleship Potemkin” plays out like an operatic piece with sweeping highs and tip-toeing intermediary scenes. This gives the film great flow and unravels like a story from another age, partially because it is.

“Battleship Potemkin” has several standout scenes and these parts are truly the highlights of the film. The mutiny, the scene along the steps, and the finale are all outstanding pieces of cinema. They are intense, wonderfully shot, and full of emotion. These are moments that are not just amazing achievement by themselves but stress the effectiveness of the entire film that Eisenstein was able to create. With a runtime of just 75 minutes, to build up these scenes in such a short period of time is nothing more than exceptional.

This will be a short review because “Battleship Potemkin” is a complex work that should be studied. Consequently I do not feel the urge to go too in-depth since that will be a long and arduous rabbit hole that I don’t care to put to paper right now. Nevertheless it is a tremendous work that is nothing short of essential to any lover of cinema

Score: 96/100

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