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Eye on Sound: Battleship Potemkin / Pantserkruiser Potemkin / Bronenosets Potjomkin

Bronenosets Potyomkin

Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein / SUHH, 1925 / 75 min.

A live performance by Ensemble Modelo62’s of an exciting soundtrack to Eisenstein’s celebrated film, the icon of the Soviet avant-garde. Clarinets, percussion, violins, electronic sounds and live sound effects accompany Potemkin’s dynamic montage.

poster Battleship Potemkin / Pantserkruiser Potemkin / Bronenosets Potjomkin

When the officers of battleship Potemkin (pronounced: ‘Patyomkin’) serve the crew members rotten meat, they have had more than they can take. The captain threatens to execute some of the men, but he has miscalculated. The hatred against the ruthless Czarist regime is so great that the people of Odessa rise up to support the sailors and take to the streets. The Czar’s troops open fire.

Battleship Potemkin (1925) had been commissioned to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the – suppressed – Russian Revolution of 1905. The film became an international triumph because of Eisenstein’s dynamic-propagandist montage, which broke with the linear narrative structure of traditional drama. The sequence in which a pram bounces down the steps is still regarded as iconic and is taught at all film academies as a prime example of successful crosscutting. Eisenstein’s innovative approach was a fist in the face of conservative forces in art and redefined the course of film history.

A new score

Ezequiel Menalled wrote a new score to Battleship Potemkin for Ensemble Modelo62, one that sublimely responds to Eisenstein’s method of montage. In practice this means: looking for multiple layers that fit with the simultaneity of events, flashbacks and counterpoints. The ensemble performs live, using such classical instruments as the violin, clarinet and cello, but also creating electronic sounds and live sound effects based on Potemkin’s original soundtrack. Special attention is paid to the hand-tinted red flag that is featured in 108 frames.

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Details

Director

Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein

Production year

1925

Country

SUHH

Original title

Bronenosets Potyomkin

Length

75 min.

Language

no dialogue

Subtitles

NLD

Format

35mm

Part of

Eye on Sound

What would Sergio Leone’s films be without Ennio Morricone’s world-renowned scores? And what remains of Blade Runner without Vangelis’ unworldly synthesizers? Who doesn’t immediately think of Miles Davis’ languid nocturnal jazz in the case of Ascenseur pour l’échafaud? Music and sound are an essential part of the cinematic experience. In fact, they are vital to the experience of film.

Learn more
Eye on Sound: live music in Eye's arena

Why in Eye

Battleship Potemkin is one of the uncontested classics from the age of silent cinema, featuring Sergei Eisenstein’s pioneering and epoch-making montage. Accompanied live by Ensemble Modelo62, with a brand new score.

Martin de Ruiter
programmer Eye

still Battleship Potemkin / Pantserkruiser Potemkin / Bronenosets Potjomkin
still from Battleship Potemkin / Pantserkruiser Potemkin / Bronenosets Potjomkin

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