Арсенал (Arsenal), 1928
Dir: Alexander Dovzhenko
OK. So right away I knew that this was probably something that I wasn't going to like, but I toughed it out (it's only like 70 minutes).There's nothing really to shit on, it's just that extreme avant-montage pieces just aren't for me. This is what the Russians were all about in the 20s. That, and Bolshevism. Eisenstein, for all his talent and cinematic thought, made some pretty one-dimensional propaganda films. This at least has layers of depth, but the problem with that is that it leaves you wondering where the hell you are. There are a lot of things about this that fall into my "like" zone, especially its non-narrative flow, it's just that all the connectors must be in Russian or something. You have to have some level of interest in this subject too (glorifying labor, the common man, revolution). It's a complex film masquerading as a propaganda piece that most definitely is not for the uninitiated.