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(Review originally written at 19 November 2007)

This movie shows is a great observation of 1929 life in Russian cities. It shows how people lived and how they did all off their everyday activities, such as doing the groceries, driving, working at all kinds of places and what they were doing in their spare time. It showed how common people lived, how the streets looked, the machinery, everyday use objects etcetera. Very small and ordinary things, that are now all great to watch for historical reasons. Nothing in the movie has been faked or set up. They just picked up a camera and filmed all kind of things.

Wouldn't it be great to make a movie like this every 10 years or so? Just purely for historical purpose. I mean, I'm sure of it people will laugh at the way we live now, use computers and cell phones for instance, in 30 years from now. The best way to show how we all lived and worked could be of course best shown in a fast 1 hour movie, that shows everything there needs to be seen and known.

'This films is an experiment in cinematic communications of real events. Without the help of inter-titles. Without the help of a story. Without the help of theater. This experimental works aims at creating a truly international language of cinema based on its absolute separation from the language of theater and literature.' This is what it says at the beginning of the movie. So clearly their intention was not to make a historical significant movie for later, but to explore the possibilities of cinema and its effect on people. The initial intension of the experiment seems like a pretty redundant one since it's obvious that cinema on its own differs greatly from theater and literature, because it's done in a completely different visual form and also reaches the people in a different way. But maybe that's just my 2007 mind saying that. Who knows, perhaps in 1929 people still weren't aware of the possibilities of film-making and what effect it could have.

The movie is not just only visually great because of its historical images but also because it's beautifully shot all and even better edited. Those Russian really already knew how to edit movies in the earliest day's of cinema! It has a very fast pace and on top of that uses some nice little artistic tricks. Some scenes are just utterly brilliantly shot and edited, especially those featuring sports.

It's an enjoyable movie to watch for several reasons. To each their own! Some while appreciate to watch it for its historical images, others for its artistic values, some for the way its shot and edited, while others just because its such a simple, easy to watch, fun movie, that is very well shot and put together.

10/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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