Tuesday, 28 December 2010

“Battleship Potemkin” still the world’s best film?

December 20 saw 85 years since the premiere of the famous film “The Battleship Potemkin” by the great Russian film director Sergey Eisenstein.

A year after its premiere, the film was recognized “the world’s best film of all times”. Since 1950s, it has been included each time into the top ten of the world’s best films which is compiled by the Sight & Sound British magazine by a survey of 100 experts from all over the world and renewed every ten years. This year, “Potemkin” occupied the third place in the top ten of the world’s best films which was published by Empire magazine.

Russian cinema expert Naum Kleyman comments on this choice:

“There are pieces of art which are eternal – the Greek temple Parthenon, Leonardo’s Giaconda, Beethoven’s Ninth symphony… “Battleship Potemkin” is one of them. In its time, the film was a breakthrough. Before it, cinematography was viewed rather as an entertainment than as serious art. At “Potemkin’s” premiere, people saw that cinematography can touch the innermost of one's heart, like music or theater."

In fact, Eisenstein made his film by an order from Soviet leaders to the 20th anniversary of the first Russian revolution of 1905. The revolution gripped all Russia but was suppressed by the government.

The film’s script is based on one episode of the 1905 revolution – a mutiny on the battleship “Potemkin” in the port of Odessa in the Crimea. The city’s residents supported the rebels. To suppress the mutiny, the authorities brought in a squadron of battleships, but no one on these ships dared to fire at the rebellious sailors. Eventually, the authorities had to release “Potemkin” into the open sea. ...

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