The Old and the New AKA The General LIne
(Staroye i novoye)

Live Accompaniment Composed and Performed by Yakov Gubanov
Screening on Film
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Alexandrov.
With Marfa Lapkina, Vasya Buzenkov.
USSR, 1929, 35mm, black & white, 90 min.
Russian intertitles with English subtitles.

Originally neglected because of its release at the end of the silent era, The Old and the New was Eisenstein's only completed film to deal with a contemporary subject. Focusing on a peasant woman and her attempts to fight greed and superstition, the film depicts the mechanization and collectivization of a farm. Using his signature montages of brief, graphically insistent images, Eisenstein creates visual drama from economic policy in sequences as unlikely but compelling as the introduction of the cream separators and the "dance" of the tractors.

Part of film series

Read more

Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: Directors E–J