Monday, September 10, 2012

That sinking feeling


Another greatest classic - this time in the Lang First Year Café Night series: Sergei Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin." Three dozen students sat patiently through it, but when my colleague B tried to lead a discussion about it, nobody said a word. It's too hard to read, a silent,
 
black and white propaganda film about revolution, its hero no individual but a mass coming to consciousness of itself? Perhaps. But maybe it was
something else. When B, near her wits' end, asked if anyone could think of a more recent film which "Potemkin" in some way reminded them of,
someone finally piped up. "Titanic," he said, because in both someone commands someone to "shoot them like dogs." But there may have been a deeper wisdom in the analogy. The main thing this generation knows about the USSR is that - like the Titanic - it wound up going under.

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