Make Your Picks

I never understood this part of Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Tools    





Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
I've seen the movie a few times now, but never understood this part at 7:20 into this clip:



So a shootout happens in the staircase, and all of a sudden it cuts to a guy swinging some type of sword it seems. What is happening here. What does this guy with the sword have to do with anything. And then all of a sudden it cuts to the woman shot in the eye, when her eye was not shot before.

What do you think? Am I not connecting the dots?



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh I said before that it was 7:20 into the clip . Thanks.



The lady was not shot but slashed by the sabre while trying to plead with the cossacks. Note that cossacks often wielded sabres, and historically were troops enlisted by the russian army to defend russia from the tatars who often invaded from the east. Over time, they became a feared instrument of the russian army itself, and I think what Eisenstein intended to do was show how the individual is subsumed by the state, and how the corrupt Tsarist state has turned what were once noble defenders of Russia against its own people.

The best scene which encapsulates this is the cut from the descending cossacks to the ascending mother carrying the dead body of the child. It's also allegorical since we know that she represents the working class rising in defiance against the tyrannical state. Though the individual is "sacrificed", the common man would subsequently draw its strengths from such acts of heroism.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh okay but how do you know the lady was slashed by the sabre, since she is looking in a completely different direction than the man wielding the sabre? Also, why didn't they establish the geography between the man and with the sabre and the woman before hand, instead of showing a man swing it, and then show the woman slashed afterward, while looking in a completely different direction?



Oh I said before that it was 7:20 into the clip . Thanks.
Yes you did, sorry I didn't see the sentence on top of your 1st post.

OK I watched that part of the clip and I would agree with what Tyler1 said. The director IMO used the sword because visually on film it looks very brutal and brutally of the army is the point of the scene. So it's more about visual emotional impact.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh okay thanks, I guess, but this whole action battle scene is done with points like that where continuity and geography is broken. It's weird how when Michael Bay does it, he is considered amateur, but when Sergei Eisenstein did it, he was considered a pioneer.



Oh okay thanks, I guess, but this whole action battle scene is done with points like that where continuity and geography is broken. It's weird how when Michael Bay does it, he is considered amateur, but when Sergei Eisenstein did it, he was considered a pioneer.
They didn't shoot much coverage footage way back then. So the women looking the other way after the sword is swung might have been the only footage they could use.