Hidden Gems brings to light little known film gems which have somehow slipped through the collective cinematic consciousness. This week SILENT movie ‘Battleship Potemkin’. You’re welcome.
I know what you’re going to say, ‘Urgh! I hated Battleship’. Fair enough. It was awful, even for Peter Berg, but did you know it was a remake of a Russian movie? No. Well, welcome to the best kept secret of the former Soviet Union.
Battleship Potemkin tells the story of Battleship and a revolt that takes place after they find that the bread is full of maggots. The officers are all absolute douche bags and when they order the soldiers to shoot the men, a general riot breaks out on-board the ship. The people in the port of Odessa support the mutiny but then Tsarist soldiers, like assholes, massacre them on the Odessa Steps. This is the heart of the movie, and a moment when a baby in a pram runs out of control down the steps is unbelievably good. One criticism might be that this part seems to be directly lifted from Brian DePalma’s Untouchables. It’s a niggle. I know.
Director Sergei Eisenstein was not only a great director but also discovered the General Theory of Relativity. Potemkin clocks in at just an hour fifteen minutes, a whole hour under Peter Berg’s Battleship. Which could be why Eisenstein is still respected for his editing and Berg isn’t.