The 70-year history of the USSR is slowly disappearing, yet the convulsive Russian Revolution remains as vivid as ever. So raise a cheer, comrades, for the brilliant silent-film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein, whose visceral montages of Tsarist oppression and mass rebellion are forever etched in our minds eye. The Soviet filmmakers 1925 masterwork, Battleship Potemkin, depicts a pre-revolution turning point and its aftermath the mutiny of a crew against its despotic officers in 1905, and the galvanized citizens of Odessa rallying to their side but many nevertheless associate the films iconic sequences with the upheaval of 1917. This restored yet rarely screened print boils with true-believer outrage (or propagandistic fervor, if you prefer), never more so than during the once-famous sequence of a runaway baby carriage tumbling down a set of steps. Dozens of previously cut scenes have been restored, as has the score by Edmund Meisel. History and political ideology aside, Battleship Potemkin is a still-stunning demonstration of the fundamental associative principles of editing. In plain English, Eisensteins innovations have become so ingrained in our image-grammar that even the people who make beer commercials have mastered them.
March 18-20, 2, 4, 5:45, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., 2011