Tuesday, June 7, 2011

21. Stachka


This film was actually rather disturbing but there is no question about why it made the list.  The editing is incredible and it reminds me very much of kind of a Baz Luhrmann style (if you do not know who that is, shame on you for never seeing Moulin Rouge!).  The director seemed to really get how to work with film and what it was capable of.  Towards the ending, during the famous carnage scene, he cuts to a cow being slaughtered (it was really gross) to mirror the massacre of the workers.  Even though that was totally disgusting and random, it shows how far ahead he was to be able to not only invision such a scene but actually to carry it out and not make it look stupid.

This movie is able a worker's strike which gets painfully quelled in Russia.  Not very interesting storywise, but the director keeps it intriguing with the way he films it.  The beginning was nuts with all the fast scene cuts and there was a really disturbing scene that involved a little girl but other than that it was an interesting movie. This film is also an example of propaganda in the Soviet Union because it shows how noble proletariats and how cruel the upper class was.  A very enlightening film.

RATING: ***-- (there would be more stars if I could get certain scenes out of my head)

Interesting Facts:

First Russian film on the list (good first impression...).

Actually beginning to like silent films.  This book has already taught me so much!

This is available to watch on YouTube.  They don't have this movie on Netflix.  You can watch the entire movie right now!


  1. I've not seen it but the slaughter juxtaposition was obviously used again by Coppola in Apocalypse Now.

  2. Ah, Amanda .. one of the glories of yu now getting new followers is they reach back into the really old days and bring to my attention some of your posts I had missed ..
    What I love about reading this one is that it's a bit of a landmark in your postings .. you are starting to really appreciate silents, and this is your first bit of Soviet propaganda, giving a reasonable reception .. but I can remember how, 'in the future' you will come to groan at yet another bunch of oppressed workers being gunned down by evil oppressive bosses / landlords / Czarist troops.

  3. I thought this was better than its successors Battleship Potemkin and (certainly) October

  4. Hi there Dessie .. Really, I'm intrigued by that ...
    I'm thinking how powerful the 'misty' storming of the winter palace scene is, with the good guys climbing the gates and rushing through the rooms ... And, OK, now it may seem a chiche, but the first time you see the sailors being fed maggoty meat .. and the odessa steps .. Come on .. I know how much we are 'expected' to like it ... and I too have a natural instinct to be contrary .. but it is damn effective.
    So maybe I forget boring stretches in the other two? Maybe because it took me some time to get to this ne .. but by the time I had, like Amanda will later, I'd got a tad imune to it all...

  5. All three share common styles which, to me, I haven't really come across elsewhere. So it's inevitably a factor that whichever I see first will be fresh and the others progressively less so. So maybe that's part of it. And I should also clarify that I was also impressed with Battleship Potemkin, just to a lesser degree.

    October had its flashes of genius and there was generally much to admire, but put it all together and it had kind of lost its way. Possibly constrained by a more detailed narrative, it dragged on and included a number of sections that probably would have been left on the cutting room floor if this was a work of fiction.

    Which, in turn, was another problem. I've read quite a bit about the subject and I think was reading Trotsky's biography around the time I watched it, so I was quite aware how many of he details were stilted or, frankly, a work of fiction. I know you have to put these things to one side when watching these films and generally I do, but as the time dragged by I can't help but lose focus and start asking "Really? You're actually claiming that?"

  6. This is another one that has kind of faded from my memory. But I am impressed that you read Trotsky's biography. That sounds...well, that just sounds awful.

  7. It was pretty good. Both of Simon Sebag Montefiore's biographies of Joseph Stalin are compelling must-reads. The subject matter itself is naturally difficult in places though, of course.

    Actually, I was going to email you today. I just read Bret Easton Ellis's The Rules of Attraction and wanted to discuss it with someone so wondered if you'd read it?

  8. No I haven't. I read American Psycho and that was enough Ellis for a lifetime.

  9. Whilst I'm going off topic, I had a couple of requests for blog posts...
    - An Oscars for the full 1,001 movies in your edition of the book
    - Something about how you felt having completed the milestone; elated? exhausted? Fulfilled? disappointed?

    1. Good idea! I might do the Oscars but that seems like such a difficult task. As for the post about completing the milestone, I thought I kind of covered that with my last Oscars post. Maybe I can write one with a question/answer type format.