Film Thoughts: Battleship Potemkin

Hello webloggers and readers,

Today, I wanted to write about a film I watched for my class. It was a silent Russian film called Battleship Potemkin. The film was interesting yet confusing to me simply because it was based on real events that had occurred as well as being a different editing style from what I am use to from silent films. The general storyline follows sailors revolting on the battleship and due to this revolting they are punished (presumably killed but like I said earlier, it was hard for me to follow.) Once news of the death of the sailor reaches the mainland, there is a giant protest against the actions taken and a huge massacre of the protesters occur. This sparks fire in the sailors and they prepare to fight only to be able to go through without having to fight at all.

Now, I know the synopsis of the story sounds quite jumpy and it doesn’t quite make sense, but that is probably because I didn’t understand what was going on in the movie. The way it was edited made it hard, plus being a silent film much of the dialogue was limited.

My initial reaction to the movie was that I was uninterested. But the more I watched and thought about the movie, the more I realized I didn’t like it because it didn’t fit my conventional ideas of what a movie should entail. Because it was a foreign film, the way it was edited, filmed, created was completely different. It was a historical major event for Russians, where I (being American) have only heard about this when my film professor told me about it. Therefore, I was watching the movie as a complete and utterly ignorant outsider. I didn’t understand the impact of the movie or the events that took place. I am slowly beginning to realize it as I write and think about the movie more.

But that being said, the massacre scene in the film really struck me. It is a black and white film (with a red communist flag at the end.) But even with the lack of color…it was emotional watching the massacre. The scene that really caught my attention was when a young mother pushing her baby in a carriage was trying to escape the soldiers shooting at them was shot. Her baby’s carriage teetered on the edge of the stairs. The scene jump cut back and forth between the wheel of the carriage and the mother slowly bleeding/dying from the gunshot wound from her stomach. (Which is bad because it takes awhile to bleed to death from a shot to the stomach.) I kept willing the baby carriage to stabilize itself, somehow hoping the baby would know how to counter balance the tipping. But at the same time, I wanted to scream RUN as the soldiers approached the carriage. It was a lose-lose situation for me.

Either way I would be distraught and I realized this intense emotion for me was why this film was amazing. Without the use of dialogue or even color, the film made me feel emotions that many modern films can’t elicit from me. The subject matter aside, the way the film was edited caused me to feel these emotions. It made me appreciate editing and get a better understanding of how film could appear so simple yet be so complex. I also enjoy learning how film had developed from this silent film with music to Avatar.

Coming soon: A couple beauty reviews and a sneak peek at my nail polish collection!

Thanks for stopping by,
Binny

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