Boris Barnet screenings at MOMA

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boblipton

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Boris Barnet screenings at MOMA

PostFri Apr 13, 2012 6:25 am

Sorry for the short warning, but Nitratevillain Ben Model will be playing today, 4PM on 13 April at New York City's Museum of the Modern Art for Barnet's THE THAW. 7PM will see another Barnet program. I'll expect to see you there, Mike.

Bob
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Re: Boris Barnet screenings at MOMA

PostFri Apr 13, 2012 6:45 am

Oh man, if I could. I don't know anything about The Thaw.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Boris Barnet screenings at MOMA

PostFri Apr 13, 2012 8:00 am

Part of a series running through the rest of April that will include a few well-worn titles like "Mother" and "Storm Over Asia", but also includes films that haven't been seen theatrically much or at all like "Miss Mend" (all 5 hours of it, with an intermission) and "St. Jorgen's Day" and "A Kiss for Mary Pickford".

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/films/1264

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Re: Boris Barnet screenings at MOMA

PostFri Apr 13, 2012 4:43 pm

After THE THAW, I couldn't work up the nerve to see the second program. I assume they'll show it again. In the meantime, here's the review I posted at the IMDB:

As this story of corruption in a small village begins, we see the noble worker, standing by the water, looking off into the future. After some Academician cutting, he is joined by Vera Marinich, also looking forward to the Worker's Paradise. Another cut and they are leaning on each other, then sharing a cuddle on the sand. Vera says she is pregnant. He is gone. Oh, well....

Given the Academician cutting, immense vistas and point-lit cinematography, this could pass for a serious major drama by Eisenstein -- or perhaps a series of Norman Rockwell covers for the Saturday Evening Pravda. After that opening, I think that director Boris Barnet was trying to put one over on the authorities and sneak a cynical message past the authorities. It worked too.

There is little motion in this picture. People pose, people punch their fists in the air, but the only time anyone moves fast is when they rush to fetch the corpse of an important witness to kulak bribery in from the ice. Wouldn't want it to get cold, I guess.

Matters continue in this wise until Vera gives birth and the river starts to run. Then there is an explosion and the peasants rush to lynch the kulaks in their homes -- well, we see them slipping in the mud and then they are around the houses with the kulaks cowering inside. Cue the authorities to show up and tell them to go home. They will make sure that justice prevails.

Just like they have before, I guess. We get an epilogue of bargemen shipping machinery somewhere or other and a title card addressed to the Dictatorship of the People to prepare for the future. Barnet shows the government sabotaging justice. His cameraman shows the figures tiny against immense backgrounds. What are they supposed to be able to do?

How did this escape? Well, they need a new movie in Novosibirsk. Send them this, comrade, and don't tell them in the Kremlin...


Bob
“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.” — James Thurber

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