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Battleship Potemkin (The Special Edition) [Import]

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barsky, Grigori Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov, Mikhail Gomorov
  • Directors: Sergei M. Eisenstein
  • Writers: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Nikolai Aseyev, Nina Agadzhanova, Sergei Tretyakov
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Silent, Import
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • Release Date: Oct. 23 2007
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000V7HFL4
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Product Description

Product Description

Battleship Potemkin (The Special Edition)

Sergei Eisenstein's revolutionary sophomore feature has so long stood as a textbook example of montage editing that many have forgotten what an invigoratingly cinematic experience he created. A 20th-anniversary tribute to the 1905 revolution, Eisenstein portrays the revolt in microcosm with a dramatisation of the real-life mutiny aboard the battleship Potemkin. The story tells a familiar party-line message of the oppressed working class (in this case the enlisted sailors) banding together to overthrow their oppressors (the ship's officers), led by proto-revolutionary Vakulinchuk. When he dies in the shipboard struggle the crew lays his body to rest on the pier, a moody, moving scene where the citizens of Odessa slowly emerge from the fog to pay their respects. As the crowd grows Eisenstein turns the tenor from mourning a fallen comrade to celebrating the collective achievement. The government responds by sending soldiers and ships to deal with the mutinous crew and the supportive townspeople, which climaxes in the justly famous (and often imitated and parodied) Odessa Steps massacre. Eisenstein edits carefully orchestrated motions within the frame to create broad swaths of movement, shots of varying length to build the rhythm, close-ups for perspective and shock effect, and symbolic imagery for commentary, all to create one of the most cinematically exciting sequences in film history. Eisenstein's film is Marxist propaganda to be sure but the power of this masterpiece lies not in its preaching but its poetry. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to the HD DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I had the opportunity recently here in Germany to watch Potemkin in the big cinema with live music - played by a combo from Berlin (violin, drummer, bass and piano), that had written a new score for the film. They showed a restored version with the original russian subtitles. I had seen the film before in offside university cinemas with canned music and on tape, but I never realized what an impact the film can have. It simply blows your mind. The live music turned the film into a totally different expierence. Now I can unterstand why the film caused such turmoil back in the Twenties in Europe. It was banned repeatedly. The governments were afraid of it's impact, as well they should have been. Can you say that of any film today? The original music by Edmund Meisel - who by the way set new standards for film scores with his music for Potemkin - combined with the film genius of Eisenstein to create a film that transcended the normal cinema. It just didn't comment about politics, it created politics. I consider myself a pacifist - but while experiencing the film I had the feeling I ought to stand up, get out a red flag and blow up the next Townhall. The film - with the right music - can have that much of an impact. I was literally shaking during the "Odessa steps" sequence, largley due to the pounding music that accompanied the slaughter of the cossaks on the civilians.
I've never had that deep of an expierence in the cinema before with the possible exception of Kubrick's "2001" and Alexandro Jodorowsky's "El Topo", but I was high both times then. With Potemkin and the right music you don't need any help.
What I mean to say - Find the chance to experience the film the way it was meant to be expierenced. Full screen, the original version und live music. And by that I don't mean a single piano. It's got to be more. The movie will rip you out of the chair. Then you will realize what a masterpiece Eisenstein created.
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Format: DVD
Whenever the subject of Sergei Eisenstein's "The Battleship Potemkin" comes up, it is virtually impossible not to immediately think of the amazing Odessa Steps sequence, but there is so much more to admire about this landmark film in addition to that legendary moment. It takes only one look to realize that it still maintains all of the emotional power and technical brilliance that it possessed all those decades ago.
The crew of the Battleship Potemkin returns home after its battle against Japan. A mutiny erupts onboard after the crew is given contaminated rations and soon news of their rebellious movement reaches shore. The sympathetic townspeople near the ship send them food and water but they are soon fired upon by troops sent to deal with the mutineers. The Russian fleet is then dispatched to destroy the Potemkin and put an end to the uprising.
"The Battleship Potemkin" is a propaganda product that has exceeded its original purpose to become something much more significant. When it was first made, the film was more important for its commentary on class struggle but it is now more renown for its innovations in cinematic storytelling. Eisenstein's use of juxtaposed images was the origin of the modern film montage and his editing techniques gave rise to a faster and more energetic narrative style that was much more satisfying than the start-and-stop, jarring method that characterized other films of the era. The expert craftsmanship typical of so many films made today owe "The Battleship Potemkin" a debt of gratitude for influencing their look and feel. Clearly this is one ship that has not sailed into the sunset to be forgotten.
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Format: DVD
The need for serious film-buffs to own this film is so obvious that I hardly need reiterate it. Too many have called it the greatest film ever, or nearly so. Seeing it again, I have to agree that it is a powerful and finely-crafted film, of huge historical importance thanks in part to its many innovations in technique. While I still squirm at some of its blatant propagandism, I can look past that enough to appreciate the film's excellence.
Anyway, as to this DVD: the print is pretty good for a silent film, which means that you can make out what's going on about 90% of the time. Of course, the recent restoration of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" so completely spoils us now, with its incredible beauty and clarity, that it's hard to settle for anything less! But this printing of "Battleship Potemkin," from a 1976 Soviet restoration, remains quite respectable.
My main reservation is the music. Austrian composer Edmund Meisel composed a score specifically for this film at the time of its original release. Even though the present DVD version is a "restoration," it does not use the original music. Instead, the score a patchwork of extracts from Shostokovitch's symphonies (the opening scene of waves crashing is the beginning of the 1st movement of the 5th symphony; the opening of "Odessa Steps" with the ships moving in the harbor is the beginning of the same symphony's Scherzo). Great music, yes, but often not well-matched to the action.
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Format: DVD
Okay, okay...we can fall all over ourselves doing film worship...but by this time, surely almost everything that could be said about this film has been said...and re-affirmed by numerous yea-sayers. So...maybe the next level is personal reaction. The parts that don't appeal to me so much are the drawn out interactions between the crew and the officers, as individuals and as groups. The shipboard scenes...especially the long segment dealing with the group of mutineers who are separated from their comrades, then put under the tarpaulin to await execution seems to go on a long time. What appeals to me most are the visuals...the scenes of the ships of Odessa sailing out to the battleship with their curved sails being raised and filled with the wind...the scenes dealing with the strange mist that fills the harbor...the sunlight reflected on the water which looks oily and lethargic...very moody...atmospheric...the Odessa steps themselves... the Orthodox priest looking on the confrontation and slowly thumping the hand-sized crucifix he is holding against the palm of his if waiting...waiting...waiting...the wild look in his eye...something about his looks which repels...meant to suggest something like a Rasputin? ... the body in the tent on the pier...and the crowds coming out to view it... seems to go on I guess personally I resist the propaganda aspects and react favorably to the director's brilliant eye for
visual imagery.
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