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Battleship Potemkin

It seems unlikely that David O. Selznick, the legendary Jewish filmmaker who produced Gone With The Wind, and Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, would agree on much. That both were avid fans of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin is a testament to the film’s raw emotional power. A pure slice of pre-Stalinist Soviet propaganda, this […]
By Trish Roberts
July 31, 2009
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Battleship Potemkin

It seems unlikely that David O. Selznick, the legendary Jewish filmmaker who produced Gone With The Wind, and Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, would agree on much. That both were avid fans of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin is a testament to the film’s raw emotional power. A pure slice of pre-Stalinist Soviet propaganda, this […]
By Trish Roberts
July 31, 2009
  shares
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It seems unlikely that David O. Selznick, the legendary Jewish filmmaker who produced Gone With The Wind, and Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, would agree on much. That both were avid fans of Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin is a testament to the film’s raw emotional power. A pure slice of pre-Stalinist Soviet propaganda, this silent film pioneered new editing techniques in order to elicit maximum sympathy from audiences, and is universally acclaimed as a cinematic masterpiece. Considering the recent Russian revival, few films could be a more appropriate next step in the Sydney Symphony’s Movies Over Music series.

The posthumous soundtrack is supplied by Shostakovich: another brilliant Russian who was fascinated by the film. While this doesn’t strictly sit with Eisenstein’s rules – that the soundtrack should be rewritten every 20 years in order to stay relevant and hip – it will be, perhaps, more appropriate to the current cultural climate than the version composed by the Pet Shop Boys. In honour of, if not quite according to, Eisenstein’s wishes, conductor Frank Strobel presents a newly arranged score for the occasion.

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