The first feature film by the director of Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike is a visual tour-de-force that employs dynamic editing and experimental camerawork to dramatize the saga of a bitterly-fought factory strike in 1903. Often compared to Citizen Kane in terms of audacious directorial debuts, Strike embodies the revolutionary spirit of the Soviet people of the 1920s, cresting the waves of artistic and political idealism. —Kino Lorber
The son of a shipbuilder, Eisenstein chose a career in the arts over engineering or architecture. After W.W. I he worked as a designer and a director in the theater, where he developed his theory of “Soviet realism.” One of his plays was staged not in a theater but in a gasworks. It was inevitable that Eisenstein would gravitate toward cinema, with its natural potential for realism.
His 1st film, Strike (1924), was so inventive and vigorous that it drew immediate attention. The 27-year-old director filmed Potemkin in 2 months. It is remarkable for its maturity and masterly use of camera techniques. Eisenstein was also a pioneer in film editing, and the film is a virtual textbook of this art. In a famous scene, a baby carriage rolls down a long flight of steps while a horrified student watches helplessly from below. The images are intercut and the action slows down, alternating the separate images into one shocking scene. So original was his style that even though it has been… read more
Essential cinema. Eisenstein's debut established him as an innovator in cinema history. His mastery of image, camera placement, allusion and edit took cinema to new levels. Imagine seeing this film in the late 20's after being used to the limitations of film image up to that point...it must have been revolutionary. Film itself is a well told tale of collective uprising and the establishment's reaction to change.
Bloody marvelous film! Propaganda, of course, but surprisingly rich in intentional, genuinely funny, humor, which I was not expecting from Eisenstein. Some of the scenes of intrigue reminded me of Lang and the scenes in the factory look forward to Metropolis. Highly recommended.