Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin: 1925 silent movie about a bunch of sailors getting mutinous on their cap’n after being served bad soup. After seeing this, it will be a long time before you forget the striking photography: plate-smashing, ques of people, ominous cannons, religious bashing, dead sailor and so on. Perhaps the most famous scene in cinematic history – the Odessa steps massacre – is worth watching the film for and, despite studying and having seen dozens of times, it still makes me feel uneasy. It’s a great shame that the rest of the film doesn’t reach this standard! For its time, and as a work of art Potemkin was decades ahead and is credited as the original use of the now-common ‘montage’ technique. However, as a story it’s essentially an ultra-embellished propaganda film, that’s not the easiest to watch due to pivotal and symbolic scenes being dragged out and over-emphasised. I’d recommend this film to anyone, but would advise them to read a little about Eisenstein and Russia in the early 1900’s to contextualise it.

Score: 5/10

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