Saturday, October 17, 2009

34. Oktyabr/October (1927)

Running Time: 102 minutes
Directed By: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov
Written By: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov
Main Cast: Vladimir Popov, Vasili Nikandrov, Layaschenko Chibisov, Boris Livanov


Before writing this review, a thought came into my head: How am I going to summarize the events of this movie? I'm not ashamed to admit, that while I did follow this film and have the burdening challenge of sitting through it, I really didn't fully understand what was going on. I mean, I got the basic concept of what Eisenstein was trying to say, and that was, that apparently in 1917 there was a revolution in Russia headed by Vladimir Ulyanov, or Lenin, as he is more commonly referred to, and they overtook the government and handed the power over to the Bolsheviks. However, there was a lot more going on in this film that I just found very hard to follow. I'm not by any means a history buff, let alone a Russian history buff and had no intention of tutoring myself in the history of Mother Russia. just for the intentions of understanding this film.
After three Sergei M. Eisenstein films and with all due respect to the man and his country and the people of that country, I'm really sick of hearing about how great Russia is. I mean, hey, I'm all for someone being proud of their country, but isn't one film enough to get that point across. "Stachka", :The Battleship Potemkin" and "October", all have elements of a rebellion in them and how the great people overcame adversities in order to make life better for themselves, it's just that its getting a little old.

I did not like October, not one single bit. I thought it was very hard to understand, had no characters that the audience could connect to, had no great camerawork, like Eisenstein's previous two films and resembled a really bad documentary, except it wasn't a documentary, just a really bad re-creation. Now, keep in mind, this is just my opinion and I'm sure for Russians who were around in the month of October back in 1917, this film is kick ass. But I wasn't around back then, and have never lived in Russia, therefore the Russian revolution of 1917 has zero interest for me. And that's all I have to say about Oktyabr.

RATING: 1/10 Sorry Mr. Eisenstein, I just am not a fan and this movie solidified that opinion.

NEXT UP: The Jazz Singer...Let's talk!

October 17, 2009 3:33am


  1. Wow sounds like a total bore, Don't think I will EVER be watching this one, as I am easily bored, and if you were bored with it we both know I would have a very rough time with it!

  2. Well, 3 Sviet realist propagander films (in a row??), is more than eniough for any, and if not familular with the ins and outs of European politics.. I saw 'Battleship' years and years ago.. then October, and I will admit that by 'Strike' (with 'Man with a movie camera' in between), I was almost looking forwardto bit of Leni R., (joke), But I think you were a little harsh on poor October. I mean, the storming of the winter palace...

  3. Yeah maybe I was a bit too harsh and in a recent review I did say that "Anything below a '3' should be reserved for the Mr. Woodcock's and Good Luck Chuck's of the cinema world", but I just didn't see the appeal and outside of the famous scene on the steps in Battleship Potemkin, the films were a huge bore to me. But thanks for your input.

  4. While I admire Eisentein's artistic vision, this one is a real clock-watcher. There were great set pieces and some innovative camera work and editing (I especially liked the quick edits of the machine guns, the gunners, and the people being shot), but without characters and more details, the story is impossible to follow, even with a basic understanding of the Soviet revolution.

    1. Yeah, talk about a clock watcher. And I had ZERO knowledge of Soviet history, so I was really screwed.


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