A factory in Tsarist Russia in 1912. The working conditions there are unbearable and the wages miserable. The revolt rumbles among the workers and the bosses. Wrongly accused of having stolen a micrometer, a worker hangs himself. Immediately, the strike is called... Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein, La Grève asserts itself as a first stroke of genius. Immediately imposing his formalist aesthetic, the filmmaker lays the foundations of the language of Russian cinema, rejects the notion of a cinema of actors and first captures the workers' revolt as a purely artistic object. A timeless masterpiece of Russian cinematographic heritage!
IN CO-RELEASE WITH CARLOTTA FILMS, THE TOULOUSE CINEMATHEQUE IS DEVELOPING A COLLECTION OF DVDS THAT ENABLES IT TO SHARE THE WEALTH OF ITS ARCHIVES WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. THE STRIKE IS, AFTER La Vendeuse de Cigarettes du Mosselprom AND VERDUN, VISIONS D'HISTOIRE , THE THIRD TITLE OF THE ONE.
ORIGINAL MUSICAL CREATION AND PERFORMANCE BY Pierre Jodlowski (COMMISSIONED BY THE TOULOUSE CINEMATHEQUE IN 1998)
Commissioned from Pierre Jodlowski by the Cinémathèque de Toulouse in 1998, the original music for La Grève has been programmed in many cine-concerts in France and Europe; the release of this DVD is the culmination of work undertaken 10 years ago and testifies to a desire to combine heritage and creation.
“From the first viewing of La Grève, when I had to choose the film on which I was going to work, I was fascinated at first sight by the rhythmic, gestural and articulatory dimension of this film. La Grève remains a painting for me; moving picture, where black and white become colors, where the strength of a sequence is inseparable from the whole, in its structural relevance. La Grève, a silent film, thus detaches itself from words, conveys the symbols of an upset world, transmits, until today, and this is its strength, the questionings of man, the very meaning of existence. However, it is through the dynamics of the image, the pronounced contrasts in the rhythm of the sequences, the excessive staging (becoming allegory) that a philosophical dimension can be born and not by a simple imaging of actors or charismatic stories (as cinema can often do today). We see then how the musical idea can be born in the mind of the composer: music is the art of time and space, of rhythm and form. Putting this film to music does not simply consist in filling a silence (moreover Eisenstein does it very well on his own!) but rather in weaving trajectories, in renewing the space of the projection in a sound dimension. This is the project of this creation: to bring a new "illumination" of the cinematographic work through a music whose intensity wants to rub shoulders with that of the film, to induce a balance of forces, concentric or divergent, to find the energy of the image to better deconstruct it and give it a sensitive "interpretation". » Pierre Jodlowski, composer
STRIKE (1924 – B&W – 88 mins) SUPPLEMENTS . EISENSTEIN IN THE REVOLUTIONARY BREATH (37 mn) Natacha Laurent (General Delegate of the Cinémathèque de Toulouse and historian of Soviet cinema) looks back on the tremendous creative effervescence that accompanied the Russian Revolution and retraces Eisenstein's career.
. THE STRIKE, A MUSICAL ENGAGEMENT (31 mn) Pierre Jodlowski returns to his original 1998 score. From Toulouse to Decazeville, a former mining area, he traces the origins of the project, its sources of inspiration and its commitment.
. GOING ON STRIKE, YESTERDAY AND TODAY (13 mins) Stéphane Sirot (historian of the social movement) puts the phenomenon of the strike into perspective in the context of the social movements of the tsarist era and confronts it with contemporary media representations.
. SHORT FILM: GLUMOV'S DIARY (1923 - B&W - 5 mins) This film, inspired by a play by Alexandre Ostrovski, was screened during performances of the show Un Homme sage that Eisenstein had put on for the Proletkult theatre.