Dir. Sergei Eisenstein
USSR 1926 | Black & white | 72 min | Cert PG | Drama
Cast: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov
‘Say Potemkin and it appears that the whole British Army will go down like ninepins.’ So wrote a British critic, mocking the ban that prevented Britain seeing the film everyone was talking about. When Eisenstein heard the score that had been such an incendiary success in Germany, he worried that Meisel’s powerful music overshadowed the film. But Potemkin was already proving inspirational and few images remain as potent as a pram careering down a staircase, still widely referenced today, at the climax of the massacre of Odessa’s civilians. Potemkin’s perennial freshness owes much to Eisenstein’s improvisation when he realised the potential of those steps, and of the battleship itself, as a cockpit for the stirring of revolutionary emotion, and with Meisel’s music it’s as powerful as ever. – Ian Christie
Available on: DCP
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