Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth (1930)

Earth (or Zemlya) is a 1930 Soviet film directed by Alexander Dovzhenko, a Ukrainian filmmaker. It seems virtually plotless to me, with lots of fairly static images of faces and fields and sunflowers. There is much weeping, wailing and bemoaning of fates. Alternating with laughter. And a tractor.

via youtube:

It's listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, which calls it ""arguably... the single greatest achievement of the ever-more-impressive Soviet silent cinema" and says, "Anyone looking for the origins of Andrei Tarkovsky's cinema must start with Earth." Slant Magazine calls it an "orgiastic paean to Soviet collectivism and tractor-ism". opens with this:
Earth is a tribute to life in the Ukraine, the birthplace of its creator, Alexander Dovzhenko. The film's star is essentially the Ukrainian village in which the story is set: it is not necessarily a tale of Russian farmers and kulaks but a visual poem about life and the calm acceptance of death.

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