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4.1
4,894 Ratings

Battleship Potemkin

Броненосец Потёмкин

Directed by Sergei Eisenstein
Soviet Union, 1925
Drama

Synopsis

Odessa, 1905. Enraged with the deplorable conditions on board the Potemkin ship, the sailors contemplate mutiny. After seizing control, their revolt becomes the rallying point for a populace oppressed by the Czar’s Cossacks. The ruthless cavalry arrives to crush the rebellion on the Odessa steps.

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Battleship Potemkin Directed by Sergei Eisenstein
The film is much more than this sequence, of course, but every one of its five sections arcs toward violence, and each payoff is shot and cut with punitive force. The mutiny itself is a pulsating rush of stunts, unexpected angles, and cuts that are at once harsh and smooth. The whole thing starts with a rebellious sailor smashing a plate (in inconsistently matched shots) and ends with the ship confronting the fleet, a challenge rendered by percussive treatment of the men and their machines.
December 29, 2015
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As freewheeling as Eisenstein’s Strike andBattleship Potemkin may have seemed, their inventiveness is invariably tied to a larger intellectual program: the dissolution of the individual into the mass. Both released a year after Lenin’s death, they represent a culmination of the think-tank techniques of these early Soviet filmmakers, while also distinguishing themselves from the cruder agitation films of the late 1910s and early 1920s.
November 20, 2012
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After 80-something years, it’s not easy to recapture a movie’s initial impact. Seen through the prism of its descendents, however, Potemkin is something like The Battle of Algiers (plus Triumph of the Will,Psycho, and Scorpio Rising), shot by Akira Kurosawa and edited by Alain Resnais. Dynamic conflict is present in and between every filmic image as Eisenstein orchestrates a percussive shift in angles, cutting usually on action, from long shot to close-up.
January 12, 2011
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