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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 6. June 3rd, 1948


At one time, as "G.M." once said, you could count the people who had seen a Russian film in New Zealand "on the fingers of your clenched fist." That day may come again with the present policy of the Kerridge and Amalgamated monopoly and the increasing vehemence of people like Bob Semple. Meanwhile the war has enabled us to see a number of Russian films and two more had their New Zealand premiere in the last month.

"The General Line" produced by Eisenstein is undoubtedly one of the world's masterpieces. Made in the silent era and slow moving by Hollywood standards, it grips the audience throughout. It deals with the struggle to introduce tractors and modern science into a backward world of wooden ploughs and superstition. One sees many examples of Eistenstein originality in ideas, striking angle shots, and masterly editing. An example is the view of the crosscut saw as it cuts the peaasnt hut in half to divide among the two sons.

Stark realism is the order and the agony of the old peasant Russia is piled on until it almost hurts. And who but Eisenstein would have conceived the marriage of the stud bull and such scenes as the praying for rain?

The N.Z. Film Society is to be congratulated for giving New Zealanders the opportunity of seeing this Old Master. Finally one should note the excellent musical background chosen by George Eiby.