Bhat 1

Anand Bhat Professor Adam Scott Film 101 November 16, 2009 Bronenosets Potyomkin

Propaganda films often turn out to be works of cinematic beauty and technical excellence simply because they need to be the crème de le crème to appeal to a mass audience from all walks of life. It needs to convince and sell an agenda and cause the masses to subscribe to the worldview presented in that 35 mm of film stock. Bronenosets Potyomkin or Battleship Potemkin seeks to accomplish all that and more in its exaggerated and over dramatized version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers of the Tsarist regime. The film attempts to glorify the revolution of the red army against the evils of the bourgeois Tsar controlled white army by unabashedly distorting the event in question. The film is broken into ‘chapters’ much like a Tarantino film with each chapter delving into a specific aspect of the precipitation of the red revolution. The film is a silent film and thus is heavily dependent on score to produce the dramatic effect needed to stir the passion of potential Bolsheviks in the

Bhat 2

audience.Infact the creator Eisenstein wanted the score to be remade every twenty years to appeal to a new generation of the audience. The score is apt in that it adapts to the often violent events on screen .The lighting is mostly bright and optimistic with no real metaphorical usage present. Shadows are hardly ever present. The cinematography is critically acclaimed for the most part and in specific the scene involving the baby and the carriage hurtling down the steps. This particular scene involved the manipulation of real time to create an extended period of tension. Another scene that comes to mind is the close-up shots of the proletariat getting shot by the white army. The one scene with the open mouthed nurse comes to mind for its graphic merit. The Odessa massacre scenes were deemed a necessary part of the propagandist theme of the movie with IMDB reporting that specialist makeup men were hired from various parts of the world specifically for those depictions. The acting at times feels exaggerated but when put in historical perspective and given the fact that the film is silent these periods of over dramatization are deemed by consensus as necessary to the plot. Camera angles are for the most part conservative, with the odd wide shot of the massacre on the "Odessa Steps” and the marching of the Tsars soldiers. Perhaps the most notable contribution of Eisenstein’s Magnum opus is the pioneering use of a filmmaking technique that is today a trademark feature

Bhat 3

in Hollywood: The montage. Fittingly the only color ever seen in the movie is the blotchy and angry red of the revolutionaries.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful