Detroit Film Theatre
TWILIGHT OF THE TSARS: CLASS DISTINCTIONS
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Ivan Mozzhukhin stars in The Peasants’ Lot (1912, director Vasilii Goncharrov), an immensely popular film of its era that was meant to provide a “balanced” view of rural life as seen from an urban point of view; a rich city family is contrasted with an impoverished rural world, confirming audiences’ perceptions of an increasingly unstable society. Silent Witness, a 1914 film directed by the great Evgeni Bauer is a stylistically and thematically stunning “upstairs-downstairs” drama about a servant class – and an entire society – unwittingly hovering on the brink of extinction.
TWILIGHT OF THE TSARS: Russian Cinema from 1910 – 1919
Banned for more than seventy years by the Soviet government, this astonishing series of cinematic treasures – presented in five programs over six Thursday evenings – provides a revelatory glimpse of the extraordinary quality of filmmaking that existed in Tsarist Russia, right up until the eve of revolution. David Robinson of Britain’s Sight and Sound magazine described the viewing of these films as a moviegoing experience akin to “opening the tomb of Tutankhamen.” Each program has a running time of approximately 90 minutes and features live piano accompaniment by David Drazin.