14 April 2007 | tbyrne4
Startling early Russian silent
Wow!! I wasn't expecting something like this. Quite frankly, silent Russian directors make American directors of the same era look anemic by comparison.
Nearly every shot in this film is poetry - beautifully composed, lit, not over-acted (like so many silents), simple, and brutally powerfully. The faces, the atmosphere. Vsevolod had an AMAZING eye for composition. The close-ups are gorgeous and intense and fiery and the wide shots are breathtaking in the way they emphasize man's fragile diminutive size.
Of course, this is a propaganda film, so the upper class are portrayed as fat, hysterical beast-people and the lower-class are all rough-hewn and beautiful, but WHO CARES when the movie is this good! And this is during the age of Eisenstein so the quick-cut editing comes into play during the end with the big overthrow of St. Petersburg with great edits that are nearly subliminal.