Detroit Film Theatre
TWILIGHT OF THE TSARS: THE END OF AN ERA
Thursday, November 29, 2012
7:00 PM Detroit Film Theatre
Like film studios the world over, Russia’s production companies were eager to exploit topicality, and the eight months between 1917’s revolutions of February and October saw a spike in hastily assembled, revolution-themed movies. Evgeni Bauer’s features of the period, The Revolutionary and For Luck (both 1917) combined themes of unrest on a societal level with a rich dose of daring romance (in For Luck, a mother and daughter are in love with the same man). Included in the program is Behind the Screen, the remaining fragment of an epic film about filmmaking originally titled A Life Destroyed by Pitiless Fate; it serves as an unexpectedly poignant farewell to Russian cinema from two of its greatest stars, Ivan Mozzhukhin and Natalia Lisenko.
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.