So welcome to the year in which we celebrate the centenary of the Great October Revolution. One enjoyable form of celebration will be to watch some of the masterworks of Soviet Montage Cinema. One obvious candidate is Sergei Eisenstein’s film of the historic event, Oktyabr (Ten Days That Shook the World, 1928).
Other key films that we may hopefully see this year on 35mm [four with live music) would be:
The New Babylon (Novyy Vavilon, 1929) directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg. A powerful dramatisation of the historic Paris Commune of 1871: a forerunner for the October revolution.
Mother (Mat, 1926) directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin. Set during the Russian Revolution of 1905 and based on the 1906 novel ‘The Mother’ by Maxim Gorky.
The Girl with a Hatbox (Devushka s korobkoy, 1927) directed by Boris Barnet and starring Anna Sten. The film satirises the ‘Nepmen’, entrepreneurs who were allowed to conduct commercial business during the New Economic Policy of the 1920s.
Earth (Zemlya, 1930) directed by Alexander Dovzhenko and dealing with the process of collectivization and the hostility exhibited by the Kulak landowners.
Enthusiasm (Entuziazm / Simfoniya Donbassa, 1931) directed by Dziga Vertov. A film celebrating Socialist Construction in the Don Valley of the Ukraine. Needs to be seen with its original soundtrack rather than with live music.