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The End of St. Petersburg

(Konyets Sankt-Peterburga)
USSR 1927. Dir: Vsevolod Pudovkin. 90 min. 16mm

Vsevolod Pudovkin is often called the second great director of Soviet silent cinema. Like Eisenstein, he was a master of sophisticated montage; unlike Eisenstein, who favoured the mass protagonist and a more intellectual cinema, Pudovkin, influenced by D. W. Griffith, was partial to personal drama, to psychology and emotion, to the plight of individuals caught up in epic events. His films were more popular as a result! Pudovkin’s second feature, like Eisenstein’s October, was commissioned by the government to mark the tenth anniversary of the 1917 Revolution. It relates events through the tale of a peasant youth who moves to St. Petersburg and is swept up in the turmoil of WWI and the Revolution. Pudovkin’s visually-dynamic epic is a wonder to behold; this is exhilarating filmmaking — rightly regarded as one of the classics of Soviet silent cinema.

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