This existential drama disguised as a saga about the proletarian struggle presents a lonely and insecure individual who is challenged to act more heroically than he is prepared to, but who constantly questions his confidence and loyalties.
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The four-storey high panopticon prison set with its central watch tower is a real revelation. If you can survive the glacial pace of the story, there are great moments in this film, from the startling use of hand-held camera, the way in which sound is evoked through kinetic montage and the twisted reptilian performance of the prison governor.
It was a proletarian revolt film as I would have expected from that period of Soviet Union. Yet, it was more than that. The dynamic editing and expressionistic elements added artistic features to the film.
Beautifully shot, some scenes are stunning, often using classic rules of image composition, sometimes daring and experimental; interesting elements of abstraction and surrealism. Strong performances, however, I found the plot rather disappointing, it's the weakest part, and drags this film down a little bit.
Political and beautiful.
Formalist, utterly vanguardist. Certain amount of abstractionism in the way he shapes faces flesh, heads, maquinic, architectural structures into the frame.
Such a poetry on the cut, experimental and percussive, as the metal and wood figures exhilarating the most intense and violent secuences.
Piano motives reminds me the feelings of the Scriabinian free atonalism.
Some great montage sequences. The sleepness night before the day off shows influences of the abstract film. And some shots during the train journey remind me of elements from Walter Rutmann's Berlin movie.
Kinda like where you find some clothes in your grandparents' closet and they're cooler than anything you own. It runs a little over 90 min and I can't figure out why theres a 67 min version on youtube that looks sort of different - maybe there were two different cuts? Does anyone know?
The Ghost That Never Returns is a silent Soviet film however aesthetically it seems more like a mixture of Soviet, American and German cinema of the time. It is a revolutionary film (like most of the Soviet films of the time) but one that has actual characters, protagonist and antagonists rather “masses” as the revolutionary forces and does not occur in the Soviet Union itself...
Full review: http://boxd.it/d9w3V