Re: 8 Battleship Potemkin 1925
You say you want a revolution
Legend has it that director Sergei Eisenstein
conceived Battleship Potemkin
both as a revolutionary propaganda film and as a way to test his theories of "montage". Eisenstein attempted to edit the film in such a way as to produce the greatest emotional response, so that the viewer would feel sympathy for the rebellious sailors of the Battleship Potemkin and hatred for their cruel overlords.
I'd say he succeeded on both counts. The propaganda is indeed convincing, but it's the editing that caught my eye. Simply, it's the most thrillingly edited silent film I've ever seen, and one of the best edited pictures of all time. A word on the (in)famous Odessa Steps sequence: it deserves its reputation. There aren't too many scenes in cinema like this one.
Much has been written about Battleship Potemkin, but what one does not often hear is just how easy it is to watch. The 75 minute or so running time is already short, but it feels even shorter. It's a good reminder that some of the most “important” films of all time are not necessarily difficult viewing experiences.
Overall, I loved the film. The only criticism I can offer is that the final act ("The Rendez-Vous with a Squadron") was a slight let down after the brilliant Odessa steps sequence. My initial rating is 9/10, which I may revise after another viewing. However, the version I saw wasn't of the highest quality so I'll postpone any subsequent viewings until I get my hands on the Kino
version of the DVD which is supposedly much better.