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At 6:20 PM 8/7/96, Charles Ram=EDrez Berg wrote:
 
>Querry to David Desser:
>
>Are there any slo-mo shots in other places in _Potemkin_?  And didn't
>Eisenstein use slo-mo in other of his films?  I seem to recall some and I
>always thought it was his was of emphasing a moment by elongating it in
>time.  A reaping scene in _Bezhin Meadow_ perhaps?
>
>Charles Ram=EDrez Berg
>University of Texas at Austin
 
Dear Charles, and others whose information and impressions I'd like to hear
of also,
 
There is always a problem when thinking of "slow motion" in the silent
cinema, not only because of hand-cranked cameras at the time, but because
so many 16mm prints are shown at 24 fps instead of standard silent speed of
18 fps--this is common knowledge.  However,  on many video tapes and laser
discs which try to reproduce the "original" film as best they can, silent
films are often uneven and seemingly oddly paced in the individual shots.
The laserdisc of _Birth of a Nation_ looks almost as if Griffith shot the
film to be shown in slow-motion in many parts, especially the non-battle
scenes.  However, I am reasonably certain that there's no slo-mo in
_Potemkin_, but some scenes *feel* like slow motion due to overlapped
action or repeated action.  The same thing occurs in _October_ in scenes
like Karensky going up the staircase in the Winter Palace, or the draw
bridge opening as the horse and buggy hangs precariously over the side.
Slow motion often has a lyrical feel to it (e.g. _Elvira Madigan_) or an
ironically lyrical feel to it (e.g. Kurosawa and Peckinpah).  Eisenstein,
in _Potemkin_ and _October_ at least, didn't go in for lyricism, and I
don't remember any slo-mo in _Strike_, but plenty of scenes extended
dramatically to *feel* like time has been expanded.  That's the best I can
tell you on that score.
 
David
 
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