Detroit Film Theatre
TWILIGHT OF THE TSARS: EVGENI BAUER
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Perhaps the most remarkable directorial force in the Tsarist era, Evgeni Bauer’s surviving films reveal both a distinctive and subtle eroticism as well as a pungent social criticism that still seems startling today. A Child of the Big City (1914) traces a heroine’s steady progression from a poor innocent seamstress into a monster of depravity. Her ascent (or descent, depending on your point of view) is paralleled by the desperation of her once-idealistic admirer, who crumbles in the face of her callousness. Widely regarded as Bauer’s masterpiece, Daydreams (1915) will remind some of Hitchcock’s Vertigo in style, theme and tension in a remarkable tale that includes themes of mysticism and necrophilia.
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.