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.
About Battleship Potemkin
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.
About this Unique Screening
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 arrive with your voice and/or any other instrument of your choice. We welcome experienced and totally inexperienced, professional and amateur musicians, and everyone in between, along with cinephiles of all descriptions. Eisenstein’s cast for 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.
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.
Prof Ian Christie
Composer and Musical Director
Ian Christie is Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the co-curator of our exhibition at GRAD Unexpected Eisenstein. He co-curated Eisenstein: His Life and Art (Oxford Museum of Modern Art/Hayward Gallery, 1988). Ian also co-edited Eisenstein Rediscovered (1993) and The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents, 1896-1939 (1988). He is the author of monographs on Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger and Martin Scorsese.