Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei Eisenstein

Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei Eisenstein

Originally conceived as part of a cycle of films commemorating the revolutionary events of 1905, Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin recreates in documentary-style the failed mutiny of the Black Sea fleet and the subsequent massacre of the people of Odessa. Innovative cinematography and editing techniques heighten the horrific nature of events. Although banned outright in many countries outside Soviet Russia, the film became an international sensation, and has had a lasting impact on world cinema. The arresting sequence of the massacre of civilians on Odessa’s steps is one of the most celebrated, analysed, and quoted in cinema history.

Neither theatre, nor fine art, nor literature has given the Revolution works that can equate in expression to this work of cinema. Henceforth, there can be no doubt that for today cinema is the pioneer and leader of the arts.

Nikolai Lebedev

Kinozhurnal ARK, 1926

To book tickets for the screening of Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin at Regent Street Cinema, please follow the link below.

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About the Screening

The print that will be screened has recently been restored by the BFI, and restores dozens of missing shots and all 146 original title cards. 

The screening is accompanied by an entirely original soundtrack, devised and created in a direct response to the film. Virtuoso musicians Elo Masing (violin), Orphy Robinson (vibraphone) and Adriano Adele (percussion) will join Late Junction presenter Max Reinhardt to lead an instant orchestra of professional and non-professional musicians, drawn from across London, to bring a contemporary response to an extraordinary piece of Soviet cinema.

We are offering a special opportunity for 6 members of the audience to join the instant orchestra. Please simply arrive with your voice and/or any other instrument of your wish. We welcome all experienced and totally inexperienced, professional and amateur musicians, and everyone in between along with cinephiles of all description. Eisenstein’s cast for Battleship Potemkin was made up entirely of amateurs – we are following a remarkable example. Please email us at [email protected] to reserve your place in the orchestra upon booking your ticket.

I’m delighted, excited and honoured to be creating this live soundtrack to Potemkin. Eisenstein saw his radical montage technique working in line with Marxist dialectic, a perpetual conflict in which a force rocks up against a counterforce to produce a totally new and greater phenomenon (synthesis). The Instant Orchestra is made up of similar dialectics: musicians and non-musicians; it is a totally improvised and instant accompaniment to an amazingly complex and iconic film legend.

Max Reinhardt

Presenter, Radio 3's Late Junction

Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн (1898-1948). Sergei Eisenstein initially worked as an artist in the Red Army during the Civil War, painting posters and caricatures and designing theatre sets. In 1923, he made his cinematic debut. That same year, Eisenstein published his theoretical article ‘Montage of Attractions’. During the mid 1920s, Eisenstein made a number of films that demonstrated innovative cutting and editing techniques, and which secured him international renown as a director. 

Sergei Eisenstein

Artist, Film Director, Theoretician

Max Reinhardt

Max Reinhardt

Composer and Musical Director

Max Reinhardt is regular presenter of Radio 3’s Late Junction and of Global Beats on BBC World Service. He is an associate artist of Oxford Contemporary Music, creating Instant Orchestra projects and developing Playing the Curriculum – a free music initiative for schools. Max is a musical director and composer of Oily Cart. He continues to work as a music event curator, DJ and member of various musical mutations, such as Andy Sheppard’s Short Cuts and the Shrine Synchro System. He has previously created a series of live soundtracks for silent films and composed works for Oxford Contemporary Music, Spitalfields Music Festival and BBC Children’s TV.

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