Buy Landmarks of Early Soviet Film

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During the 1920s, Soviet documentary and fiction films were financed by the State and their fledgling directors converted their lives from theater, engineering, painting and journalism to the practice and theory of a revolutionary cinema devoted to showing the achievements and aspirations of the new Socialist society. Each of the eight seminal feature-length films in this remarkable set repays several viewings; all are new to DVD. They are Sergei M. Eisenstein s last silent and seldom seen Old and New (1929), which attempts to bring visual poetry to the collectivization of agriculture; Dziga Vertov s Stride, Soviet (1926), which transformed a commissioned work of Soviet achievements in Moscow into a highly experimental film; Victor Turin s Turksib (1930), a stirring chronicle of the building of the Turkestan-Siberian railway, and an inspiration to the British and American documentary film movements of the 1930s; Esther Shub s Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (1927), culled from pre-Soviet Russian newsreels gathered from Europe and America; Boris Barnet s The House on Trubnaya (1928), often described as the best Soviet silent comedy ever; Lev Kuleshov s The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924), filled with stunts and comedy, along with the same director s By the Law (1926), a tense drama set in Alaska based upon a short story by Jack London; and Mikhail Kalatozov s Salt for Svanetia (1930), which explores the Caucasus region of Svanetia, a remote, mountainous area where the Ushkul tribe still lived in a stone-age culture. These films are presented with original Russian intertitles with English subtitles (optional on 4 of the films) except Turksib and The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty which have full-screen English intertitles; all have musical scores new for these editions by Robert Israel, Eric Beheim, Alexander Rannie or Zoran Borisavljevic. Grateful thanks are offered the Harvard Film Archive for access to several of its original 35mm prints.

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