A Cinematic Centennial Celebration of the Russian Revolution Presents Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s: ARSENAL
The Los Angeles Workers Center and Hollywood Progressive co-present the revolutionary classic Arsenal.
Unfolded through lyrical imagery, Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s 1929 film Arsenal depicts the horrors of World War I and the occupation of a Kiev munitions factory in 1918 by revolutionary workers, who confront reactionary soldiers. The ending of Arsenal is straight out of mythology or superhero stories - although it preceded Superman’s comic book debut by almost a decade.
Arsenal’s astonishing ending also predates Earl Robinson’s ballad about the Wobbly labor organizer, “Joe Hill.” In his history of the Soviet film, Kino, Jay Leyda called Arsenal “the first masterpiece of the Ukrainian cinema.”
American film historian Lewis Jacobs wrote that Arsenal “contains some of the most sensitive pictorial compositions the screen has ever known” that “achieve the emotional intensity of great lyrical poems…
Dovzhenko, perhaps more than anyone else, can be called the first poet of movies.” Dovzhenko expressed the Russian Revolution’s ethos by portraying the revolutionary as superhero. (70 minutes.)
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What: Arsenal screening.
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m., June 23, 2017.
Where: The L.A. Workers Center, 1251 S. St. Andrews Place, L.A., CA 90019.
This screening of Arsenal is the fifth in a monthly film series running through November 2017 to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the February and October 1917 Revolutions in Russia, and 1905’s mass uprisings. All 10 films screened during these 10 months are Soviet cinema classics, among the greatest political films ever made. See the entire schedule at: https://hollywoodprogressive.com/russian-revolution/.
Before each screening at the L.A. Workers Center a speaker briefly introduces each film and filmmaker. After the movie the speaker will make additional remarks, followed by a Q&A. Light refreshments are served. These black and white, silent films, with English subtitles, and musical soundtracks, are screened under imperfect conditions, although this is a chance to see them projected on a big screen. Admission is free, although donations and potluck contributions are accepted. Screenings start at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month. Film historian/critic Ed Rampell, author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States, is the series’ programmer/co-presenter. For info: firstname.lastname@example.org.