Review: ‘Novi Vavilon’

A teetotaler will be doubtful of his own sobriety after sitting through The New Babylon. So restless is the direction that this film has only the vestige of continuity. Faces, feet, mud, singers, soldiers, guns. Projected time and again.

A teetotaler will be doubtful of his own sobriety after sitting through The New Babylon. So restless is the direction that this film has only the vestige of continuity. Faces, feet, mud, singers, soldiers, guns. Projected time and again.

Babylon is described in the subtitles as the name of a department store. The owner (D. Gutman) is allowed plenty of footage in which to sip liquor monotonously or adjust his top hat. Nearest line to the story is an extemporaneous romance suddenly springing up between the soldier Jean and a sales girl. Between the triple exposures the couple are brought together.

At the crucial period Jean is with the Nationals who, licked by the Prussians, are now dealing with the Commune, the political faction within. At the finis, Jean and the store girl are again brought together. He is her grave digger and she is one of the targets for the firing squad.

Picture claims it follows episodically events in the Franco-Prussian war and Commune activities in 1871.

Novi Vavilon

USSR

Production

Sovkino. Director Grigori Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg; Screenplay Grigori Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg; Camera Andrei Moskvin, Yevgeni Mikhailov; Music Dmitri Shostakovich; Art Director Yevgeni Enei

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Extract of a review from 1929. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Yelena Kuzmina Pyotr Sobolevsky D. Gutman Sophie Magarill Sergei Gerasimov Andrei Kostrichkin
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