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Eisenstein at the Colo Springs symphony

Battleship Potemkin -Sergei EisensteinI’m really impressed that
the Colorado Springs Philharmonic was able to attract a nearly full house for a screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, the 1925 Soviet revolutionary call to arms that became even too subversive for Stalin’s taste.
 
The newly restored version adds more graphic pieces to the Odessa steps sequence, but my favorite scene remains aboard the battleship deck, when the rebellious sailors cower under a tarpaulin, awaiting the bullets of the firing squad.

It reminds me of my favorite story about the few proud Marines. The Marine Corps, now its own branch of the Defense Department, evolved from a very particular function in every nation’s navy. (Like MARINE biologists, their function has obviously to do with the sea.) On warships since the Napoleonic Wars, marines were the only enlisted men entrusted with guns. Their role, beside serving as landing parties, was to protect the officers from mutiny by the sailors; a function they were prepared to serve on the Potemkin until thankfully the revolutionary rhetoric held sway.

Battleship Potemkin Soviet propaganda poster

I wonder if our few proud US Marines will have brains enough to side with their families and comrades when Bush orders them to fire on his insurgents.

Panzercruizer Potemkin -German film posterIn promoting the Toons film collection, I’ve made a preoccupation with data mining for every poster incarnation of our diverse films. Since the Toons website has been down for a bit, I thought I’d represent here our gathering of Potemkin posters.

Kudos to the Pikes Peak Center team for delivering Eisenstein to the Rocky Mountain art Bourgeois. We showed up three generations deep, each age this evening running into others they knew. And everyone loved it.

La Corazata Potemkin -Italian film poster
A highlight of the event for me occurred when the battleship fired its salvo into the city. After the sailors had rebelled, the city populace had risen in support. To subdue the masses, Tsarist Cossacks marched down the Odessa steps, shooting into the crowd. In angry response, the crew of the Potemkin aimed its big guns at the headquarters of their Tsarist oppressors, or so explained the inter-title cards, further specified in the text as the Opera House! We were Colorado Springs symphony-goers, at the town’s premiere performing arts center, rooting for the Russian workers as they united against their ruling class.

Battleship Potemkin call to arms

Battleship Potemkin -contemporary Soviet poster

Battleship Potemkin uprising leader

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin -Modern Russian print

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship Potemkin -stamp

?????????? ???????? - Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein

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