The General Line | Chicago Reader

The General Line

This is the most neglected of Sergei Eisenstein's features, his last completed silent picture (1929), also known as The Old and the New. It's a bucolic epic about the Soviet struggle to collectivize agricultural production, and it's far from his least interesting or exciting film, though some critics have made it sound that way by noting that the most famous sequence involves a cream separator. For the record, it is a thrilling sequence—part of Kenneth Anger's Eaux d'artifice is modeled directly after it—but it's far from the only thing this rich, poetic, and sometimes quite funny film has to offer. Recommended.

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