Thursday, July 25, 2013

The House on Trubnaya Square

Saturday evening I saw the Soviet urban comedy The House on Trubnaya Square at the SF Silent Film Festival. A befuddled country girl arrives in Moscow, her pet duck tucked under her arm. By accident she finds herself in a menial job, then just as accidentally gets caught up in party politics when she innocently joins the union. The film moves at breakneck speed & has much frantic action. I was sometimes confused. Director Boris Barnet throws in rapid-fire montage, unusual camera angles, freeze frames & scenes running in reverse. The film opens on an impressive set that allows you to see 5 floors of an overcrowded tenement all at once. The audience applauded the film's heroine when she becomes so overcome with patriotic fervor while watching a play that she jumps on stage & takes over the scene. The film was introduced by Anita Monga, the festival's Artistic Director, & Susan Oxtoby of the Pacific Film Archive. Stephen Horne accompanied on piano, accordion, flute & drum, sometimes playing more than one instrument simultaneously. His lively accompaniment had a Russian flavor & included snippets of songs & The Internationale. Wonderful old Soviet movie posters were included in the slide show before the screening.

§ The House on Trubnaya Square
USSR, 1928, 65 minutes • Director Boris Barnet
Musical Accompaniment Stephen Horne

2013 SF Silent Film Festival
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 6:30p
Castro Theatre

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