Vivid imagery, razor editing and memorable cinematography anchor this politically charged look at 1918 Ukraine examining the effects of revolution, national pride and political fervour and the human cost.
Few filmmakers have ever matched Dovzhenko's stringent approach to solitude, his handling of stillness and above all the insinuation of violence and horror in his treatment of stationary bodies. Unfortunately films like "Arsenal" seem old-hat nowadays, almost like exercises in technique, because they demand so much from their audience.
Plus one extra star. I rewatch these film today and I'm still mesmerizing and convicted that "Arsenal" is probably one of the biggest films in the entire history of cinema. I could say many things, but I prefer to evidence the music, something that I normally dislike in silent period. Dovzhenko like Eisenstein understood clearly the notion that music is another part and not a effect that reinforce the image.
At the heart of Arsenal is the question of identity and national consciousness and the film moves on, through different times and places, mixing brutality and banality as facets of every day life. This is not an easy film to love, but it's a film to treasure.
Good propaganda film, though the plot line meanders. Compelling, though, for the faces it shows, of many Ukrainians and others, with lines of hardship and rural experience in their features. It almost feels more like a documentary at some points in the narrative. Avant-garde editing, and storytelling, and certainly worth viewing if you have a penchant for this style of film-making.
La escena final es sin duda la más memorable de todo el filme. La carga ideológica no tiene metáforas ni simbologías. El mensaje es claro y directo. A apreciar de esta película es el estilo que emplea Aleksandr Dovzhenko al ir experimentando con la cámara los planos y el lenguaje de la angulación que transforma al individuo en mártir.
Godard often considered Dovzhenko as the best film director from the silent era. The visual strength and the remarkable editing tend to give him right. The storytelling is somehow confusing and it is hard to follow fully, unless you're an ukrainian worker from the 1920's. Who cares : Dovzhenko is a true poet, always capturing the detail, an eye, a shoulder, here a left accordion tells you that someone just died.