Evgenii Bauer’s AFTER DEATH (1915) & THE DYING SWAN (1917) open SSEES 100 Film Festival

The SSEES Centenary Film Festival opens next Monday, 12th of October, with two Russian pre-revolutionary silent films, AFTER DEATH and THE DYING SWAN, directed by Evgenii Bauer.

After Death (1915)

After Death (1915)

Described by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, “The greatest director you’ve never heard of“, Evgenii Bauer made more than seventy films in the course of his career, of which only 26 survived. Bauer placed particular emphasis on the pictorial aspect of filmmaking, and was one of the first Russian filmmakers who developed the artistic side of cinema including montage, mise-en-scene and frame composition. His films had a great influence on the aesthetics of Russian cinematography at the beginning of the 20th century. Both elaborate stories of tragic love, AFTER DEATH and THE DYING SWAN, are Bauer’s later films, in which the director’s technical mastery is particularly strong.

The Dying Swan (1917)

The Dying Swan (1917)

The guest speaker Dr Rachel Morley comments on the event:

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The UCL SSEES Centenary Film Festival opens on Monday 12th October with a screening of two films by the early Russian director Evgenii Bauer (1865-1917): After Death (Posle smerti, 1915), a creative adaptation of a short story by the nineteenth-century Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, and The Dying Swan (Umiraiushchii lebed’, 1917), which takes its title from the dance made famous by the ballerina Anna Pavlova. Both films star one of the ‘Queens’ of the pre-Revolutionary Russian screen, the ballerina Vera Karalli. Now considered the major Russian filmmaker of his era, and a figure of fundamental importance not only in the history and development of Russian film, but also in world cinema, Bauer is admired for his complex and innovative set designs, his experimentation (in collaboration with his camera operator, Boris Zavelev) with lighting, camera angle, different types of shot and ingenious ways of making the camera mobile. Bauer’s favoured genre was the psychological melodrama, and these two haunting films are among the most sophisticated and powerful he made. As moving today as when they were first shown a century ago, they offer modern-day viewers a rare glimpse into a bygone age and showcase the richness and sophistication of early Russian film-making.”

The screening will take place at Bloomsbury TheatreOctober 12, 18.30.

Book your tickets here.

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