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A SPECTRE HAUNTS EUROPE (PRIZRAK BRODIT PO YEVROPE) 1922, 94 min. Silent with live piano accompaniment. Dir. Vladimir Gardin. The emperor of an imaginary nation goes for a stroll and meets a shepherdess. He finds love, but he also finds torment at the hands of those he’s oppressed. The title may come from the opening line of "The Communist Manifesto," but SPECTRE is in fact one of the earliest adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s "The Masque of the Red Death," preceded only by Fritz Lang and Otto Riepert’s THE PLAGUE IN FLORENCE made three years earlier. This beautifully atmospheric film was shot in Crimean locations by the great cameraman Boris Savalyev, who would later shoot Dovzhenko’s ZVENIGORA. With Vasili Kovrigin (co-star of DESERTER by Pudovkin).

Preceded by the short: "Interplanetary Revolution" (Mezhplanetnaya Revolutsiya), 1924; silent; 9 min. (fragment). Dirs. Z. Komissarenko, U. Merkulov and N. Hodataev. So successful was AELITA, QUEEN OF MARS upon its release that it earned its own cartoon spoof in the same year! It doesn’t just capitalize on AELITA’s popularity, however - it serves as a mild political corrective. In 1924, the year of Lenin’s death, the Communist Party began to distance itself from the "world revolution" doctrine; therefore the notion of the rising Martian proletariat was just past due, and safe to ridicule.

Official Website: http://egyptiantheatre.com/archive1999/2006/RussianFantastik.htm

Added by kiracle on October 17, 2006

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