I was having trouble with this until I stopped paying attention to the narrative about the revolution and just watched the fabulous images. I am going to project this on the wall at my Xmas party with a soundtrack of 70's Funk/Soul music (Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, etc.)
A monotonous film with a repetitive nature that isn't dramatically compelling, lacking even an emotional anchor in character(s). It may have a dazzling newsreel approach, stunning montages, and striking images, but is a case of style over substance, akin to modern blockbusters. As this was just soulless propaganda for its time, nothing less, nothing more. It lathers, rinses, and repeats itself every few minutes.
Not really my cup of tea, a unique cinematic achievement nevertheles! It is interesting to keep in mind that while all cinema is commodified these days, the ten days that shook the world are a film of a very different category: it aestheticizes a certain kind of social/political reality in a monolithic and very straightforward way.
What an astonishing artefact of cinema, and document of the Russian Revolution. Eisenstein is a master craftsman; the scale of this reconstruction is a sight to behold, and the score by Shostakovich is a tapestry of sound. The delineation between communism and socialism was blurred in 1917; nowadays, an encouraged distinction is to separate the dictatorial/authoritarian from the democratic/moderate.
I'd love to share my favorite Russian filmmakers and writers, but I have only a small clue about this very specific history (American, ignorant), so half the time I had no idea what was happening, and frankly, it's okay! Because your senses are being permeated with jaw-jacking images, choreographed like a tidal wave; as a viewer, you're just being pummeled. Enticing moving pictures, and a delight to be a recipient...
I first watched this film as part of a History undergrad degree, great then as a window into the shifting currents of the marxism-Leninist version of the Bolshevik October revolution as the Soviet Union embedded into the Stalinist era of leadership. Great on second viewing as a piece of inspiring propaganda cinema for the masses.
You will commonly know this movie on account of a few snippets: the horse, the bridge, and some blokes jumping a fence. This is my educated guess. Just sit and swallow it all. Then tell me whether it is not about a bridge, a horse, and some blokes jumping a fence. OK, I give it a bonus to the fact that you can see the hair of a woman slide while a bridge ramp is rising
Eisenstein, who was so far ahead of time in terms of innovation, recreated the revolution here in his state sponsered film. Often brilliant yet perhaps overly simplistic in terms of storytelling at times. Great use of extras with well thought out framing and editing. Various dp's offered several looks to the picture. It's no "Potemkin" or "Ivan" but is an important piece of film history regardless.