October (Ten Days That Shook The World) (Silent)
Director: Sergei Eisenstein
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 43 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: December 29, 1998
- Originally Released: 1927
- Label: Image Entertainment
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Directed by||Sergei Eisenstein|
One of the finest examples of intellectual montage, consisting of more than 3,200 shots in its 103 minutes, TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD has been described as a Constructivist poster come to life. Again working from a commission by Lenin, in this case, to make a film commemorating the 10th anniversary of the overthrow of the Kerensky government by the Bolsheviks, Sergei Eisenstein saw it as an opportunity to push his montage experiments to the limit. Focusing on the crucial events from February through October 1917, the director treats Lenin (Vasili Nikandrov) with hagiographical reverence while satirizing the opponents of the Bolsheviks as obese clowns or idiots, using visual metaphors of an extraordinary variety and richness. Kerensky's (Nikolai Popov) strutting narcissism is illustrated by a cut to a mechanical peacock. Shots of officials of the provisional government are intercut with Japanese and African masks, Haitian voodoo idols, and sacred Chinese statuary. Perhaps most memorable is the image of the white horse dangling from the open St. Petersburg drawbridge, a bridge whose raised sections Eisenstein compared to the arms of a dying man, as a massacre unfolds on the ground. Like nearly all the director's work, this dizzyingly encyclopedic inventory of montage technique is as much a register of his unique sensibility as it as a piece of propaganda.
Description by Image Entertainment:
Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's powerful retelling of the 1917 Russian Revolution, "October" is an acknowledged masterpiece in the use of editing, lighting, camera placement and mise-en-scene. An absolute must for any film connoisseurs collection.
The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is the background for this silent Russian classic and one of the best of early filmmaking history. The film is based on the book by American journalist John Reed and is narrated by Orson Welles.
- Shooting location: Moscow.
- The famed scene of the horse falling off the drawbridge could be shot for only 20 minutes a day, on successive days, to avoid traffic tie-ups.
- During shooting, it was difficult to get the extras to play Mensheviks, since all of the them wanted to play the victorious Bolsheviks.
- A number of the extras assaulting the Winter Palace were repeating their behavior from the actual event.
- Eisenstein based the scene of demonstrators being dispersed from the Nevsky Prospect on his eyewitness account of the event.
- Since Trotsky had become persona non grata, Stalin forced Eisenstein to remove all evidence of his existence from the film, requiring five months of recutting.
- A few of the extras were provided with live rounds rather than blanks, and the resultant accidents provoked observers to claim that the film shoot was more violent than the original, nearly bloodless coup.
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