Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 7. September 24, 1942

Film Review

page 3

Film Review

A Bourgeois in Despair

Shors is a skilful commander of the Red Army in the Ukraine during the war of liberation against the White Guard. If everybody in the U.S.S.R. is like Shors we can be sure of victory. And if all Russians are like the fiery horsemen galloping past us in machine-gun fire from the left to the right and the right to the left during the whole of that Sunday night, we can well understand what the Nazis are up against. The spirit of the rude, illiterate brigadier who knew no maps and no bureaucracy may be recommended, I daresay, for all battle-fronts. It is clearly the spirit of youth and a world in the making. And the bourgeois looks on in trivial cynicism—it is beyond him. There is no denying that his world of subtlety is waning; he knows he is the dreaming last rearguard of a world of intellectualism. What he is perplexed at is the simplicity, the old simplicity, of the 19th century weekly serial, and the totally new simplicity heralding a new era. He relished the patches of fine description of the Russian people in the picture, the character of the old brigadier, his lecture on the machine-gun to the bourgeois of Kiev, technical skill here and there, and more things [unclear: c] editable in a very conservative way. Of modernism no trace; plan, plot, [unclear: intigue] carries us back to the beginnings of our civilisation. Communism is no [unclear: moceinism]; it is a going back to elements. The film is divided into chapters, each starting off with a short notice (that things are bad); the White Guard near Kiev. In each one Shors shortly appears as the deus ex machina; the mainstay is a battle, and there is a new though never quite decisive victory. There are small naive side plots: the mother of a commander dies; the commander lies on his bed, screaming, a lost man, committing suicide any moment. Shors enters, offers him a golden sword in the name of Lenin, and the commander delivers a glorious address to his troops, again in full conviction of the cause.

As I said, there are better parts; at places the Russian people lives in the picture; it is a clever propaganda firm, as it shows Communism born from feelings very familiar to the public. The bourgeois intellectual enjoys the art qualities of it with whatever romantic banality he still possesses. A new language for a new world, a cacophony to the bourgois, yet beautiful to the initiated.

Russian Music

Those interested to music will be glad to hear that on Saturday, 3rd October, Dr. Stanley Oliver will deliver an address on Russian Music, both pre-Soviet and Soviet, in the S.C.R. club rooms on Lambton Quay. The lecture will be illustrated with recordings of Russian music; 1/- will be charged for admission.