Great Moments In Film – Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Another circuit finished and today we take a look at one of the most influential moments ever captured on film. Battleship Potemkin is a Soviet film which is obviously filled with Communist propaganda. I know that’s a dirty word, but relax. The members of the Potemkin stage a small revolt, a precursor to the later Soviet Revolution. This, of course, doesn’t go over well by those in power who sends in troops to teach the town of Odessa (because they had befriended the crew) a lesson. This results in the Massacre on the Odessa Steps.

This is quite a disturbing scene and very violent considering the time it was released. What makes this scene, which wasn’t originally in the script, so amazing is the camera work. There are some ingenious ideas at work here: from following the crowd down the steps to moments in which you feel like you, the viewer, are tumbling down the steps with them. It’s frankly just brilliant. How brilliant? Just ask Brian De Palma about his homage to Potemkin done in 1987’s The Untouchables.

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~ by chrislejarzar on September 3, 2010.

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