Friday, December 22, 2006

Review – Alexander Nevsky

This is a must-see for any student of propaganda film-making (not to mention anyone studying cinema as a graphic art). Though I suppose Potemkin is a more important work from a film history standpoint, I think this one is more entertaining. In context, the glaring (Nevsky as Stalin, the swastikas on the evil bishop’s miter) and subtle (merchants paying to appease the Teutons even as Stalin himself was working a treaty with Hitler) aspects of art in a dictatorship add a whole new dimension to the viewing experience. It also reverberates into history, not only exposing Stalin’s self-image but also giving Germany a strong hint about what was waiting for its troops four years later at Stalingrad. One can also appreciate the impact it had on subsequent productions, ranging from Conan the Barbarian to The Empire Strikes Back. And of course it can just be enjoyed as an entertaining movie (a little rough around some of the edges, but still quite watchable). The disc itself doesn’t come with any special features (indeed, it doesn’t even have a main menu), but it’s still worth it. Buy the disc

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