Chess Fever. 1925. USSR. Directed by Vsevolod I. Pudovkin. Screenplay by Pudovkin, Nikolai Shpikovsky. With Jose Capablanca, Zakhar Darevsky, Natalie Glan. 35mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. English main and intertitles. 20 min.
“Pudovkin was asked to make a topical comedy on the International Chess Tournament being held in Moscow’s Hotel Metropol. The catch was that one could not ask the contestants, least of all José Capablanca, to act in a comedy. The film has a fund of simple satire and movie wit. The hero’s extreme preoccupation with chess and the growing exasperation of the heroine cannot be imagined apart from (Lev) Kuleshov’s ingenious cutting method.”
Arsenal. 1929. USSR. Written and directed by Alexander Dovzhenko. With Ambrose Buchma, Piotor Masokha, Semyon Svashenko. 16mm. Silent, with musical accompaniment. 95 min.
“The first masterpiece of the Ukrainian cinema broke entirely with traditional film structure and subject, depending solely on a flow of ideas and emotions rather than upon conflicts between individual characters to give continuity to the work. Arsenal is a film-poem about Ukraine from the World War, through the February and October Revolutions in Russia….”