The great thing about Lovefilm.com is that I can catch up on the classics and I finally watched Battleship Potemkin – prepared to be disappointed – and was amazed at how well it has stood the test of time. The famous Odessa steps sequence was as powerful as advertised, but there were lesser gems – the sailors claustrophobically swinging in hammocks below decks, the rejected bowls of disgusting soup swaying gently on hanging tables – gradually building the picture of bad treatment leading to revolution. It was manipulative and simplistic-and you absolutely knew what was coming and yet… when the soliers shot the mother carrying her injured child towards them to get help, I felt genuine anger.
Another silent classic, Pandora’s Box, unsettled me because it challenged what I expected to see in a film of that era. I was expecting simplistic and actually got a much more sophisticated take on love and lust. I guess there’s a reason they are classics – but not always the same reason.