Thursday, October 22, 2009

43. Potomok Chingis-Khana/Storm Over Asia (1928)

Running Time: 125 minutes
Directed By: Vsevolod Pudovkin
Written By: Osip Brik, I. Novokshenov
Main Cast: Valery Inkijinoff, I. Dedintsev, Aleksandr Christyakov, Viktor Tsoppi, F. Ivanov

LONG LIVE GENGHIS KHAN

With Storm Over Asia finished, I'm left with only three movies until I reach the 1930's and I must say Storm Over Asia was not an enjoyable film for me at all.
Valery Inkijinoff plays the unamed hero, a mongol who is sent by his father into western Europe to sell a rare silver fox fur. Before leaving his father instructs him to not accept anything less than 500 silvers for the fox pelt. Upon arriving in Europe, the mongol is swindled out of the fur by a crooked trader and ends up getting into a fight with the white man, drawing blood on one of them. He is ushered off into the mountains where he must hide, as the white man is dead set on getting vengeance for his spilled blood.

Once in the mountains, the mongol falls in with a group of partisans and helps them fight against the occupying British army. He is eventually captured by the British and ordered to be shot and killed. He's taken high up into the mountains where he is shot, but soon after the British realize, through a document that the mongol carried on his person, that he is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, the ancient warrior. The British soldiers are ordered by their commanding officers to go and find him and they do, finding him still clinging to life after being shot several times.

Storm Over Asia started out as a fair movie. A young mongolian herdsmen who takes a journey to the local bazaars to sell a silver fox pelt...simple enough. But then they throw in a lot of mumbo jumbo about Genghis Khan, soviet partisans, British armies, lama's...etc. and my proverbial umbilical cord to this movie was severed. This film also had some fairly good cinematography, but not enough to make up for the boring plot that nearly put me to sleep faster than an overdose of NyQuill. These Russian propoganda films are really getting on my nerves, with first Eisenstein, and now Pudovkin, I've had my fair share and am ready to move on and quit hearing about rebellions and revolutions.

RATING: 1.5/10 Not the worst film I've seen thus far out of the book, but damn close. Recommendation to avoid.

NEXT UP: Blackmail...The first of eighteen...yes 18!!...Hitchcock films in the book

October 22, 2009 8:52pm

7 comments:

  1. Well atleast I know I am not the only one who has to watch some crappy movie!

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  2. You deserve points for sticking through all the early Soviet stuff don't you? Despite not having really enjoyed any, you must dread the next one. I've defended October against your (in my opinion) harsh scoring, and again a little hard on this, but I will put this one lower than others- the subtlety is at an all time low here.
    Ray

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  3. This is probably the most forgettable film that I've watched thus far from the book, as I barely remember a thing about it.

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  4. I wonder why they picked this one.. I've just seen 'Mother' - same director, and that is much better.
    Ray

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  5. Honestly Ray, I don't know why they picked this one. Possibly the most forgettable film that I've watched thus far.

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  6. Hmmm.... this is the rare movie where I don't agree with either you or Ray. I enjoyed this one a fair bit (for an early Soviet film). It was like an Eisentein film, but with a character to follow which kept me in the story. I also liked the ethnographic style of looking at the Buddhist/Mongol culture. And I didn't mind the lack of subtlety that Ray pointed out - I appreciated the straightforward storytelling. I'm not about to add this to a list of my favorite movies or anything, but overall I would classify this one as 'not bad'.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I'm glad you liked it William, but like I told Ray, this is the most forgettable film I've watched thus far or at least one of them.

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