The Filmic Commune

Peter Starr

in Commemorating Trauma

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226030
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240920 | DOI:
The Filmic Commune

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The author's aim in this chapter is to examine the afterlife of this complex articulation of confusion, melancholy, and futurity in what are arguably the two most notable films in a surprisingly thin body of cinematic work on the Paris Commune. In its implicit portrayal of the October Revolution of 1917 as both the return and the realization of Communard ideals Grigory Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg's remarkable New Babylon of 1929 practices a standard Soviet-era futurity. When British filmmaker Peter Watkins looks back on the Commune from the vantage of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the grounds for melancholy have shifted appreciably. Watkins's film points to an overcoming of that melancholy through a process of democratic self-realization it finds inherent both in the Commune as historical event and in the very process of that event's filmic elaboration.

Keywords: confusion; melancholy; futurity; Paris Commune; Grigory Kozintsev; Leonid Trauberg; New Babylon; Peter Watkins; film

Chapter.  6634 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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