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    Battleship Potemkin
    Force Entertainment/Force Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 74 mins . PG . PAL


    I have to admit my ignorance of turn-of-the-century Russian politics, so it's fortunate films like this are still available. With a single cunning purchase, ignoramuses like me can stroke our chins and mutter impressively during classy dinner conversations.

    Held in similar regard to Fritz Lang's equally-ancient classic Metropolis, Battleskip Potemkin is based on the 1905 Russian Revolution, and still captivates today. The film was banned at various times in Russia, the US and France for its revolutionary power, and one particular scene ranks amongst the most famous in film history. I could describe the plot, but Force have thoughtfully given a full synopsis on the back. The strength of the film isn't in the plot, it's in young director Sergei Eisenstein's masterful use of imagery to incite action amongst his audience that frightened the authorities.

    One for buffs and lovers of history only - this disc will baffle the Scary Movie set.


    Video and audio are as you would expect for a film approaching octagenarian status. The frame rate seems to be about 12fps, giving a jerky, dated effect, and there isn't a frame without copious amounts of grain, white flecks, scratches and bits of hair, jumper fluff and god knows what else. Add in the noticeable film weave and you're hardly going to be showing this to your VHS-owning friends. The English subtitles are burnt into the image, unfortunately.

    Audio is similarly dated, although Force have decided to make a '5.1' track available. This consists of a mono soundtrack with DSP effects in the other four channels, exactly the same as any decent home theatre amp can already provide. Fortunately Force Video neglected to mention the existence of this track, or some reality-deprived people might start complaining that there are no surround effects.

    Despite the average fidelity and slight tendency towards shrillness, the score is actually quite effective, adding the atmosphere required to carry a silent picture. Considering the age, I couldn't expect much more.

    There are no extras to speak of.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Heathens! It's 'Bronenosets Potyomkin'!"
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 103(s)
    • MPEG Card:
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    • TV:
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    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
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    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
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