Dom na Trubnoy / The House on Trubnaya / Дом на Трубной (1928), Po zakonu / By the Law / По закону (1926) DVD9 Landmarks of Early Soviet Film Disc 2
During the 1920s, Soviet documentary and fiction films were financed by the State, and their fledgling directors, some barely out of their teens, converted their lives from theater, engineering, painting and journalism to the practice and theory of a revolutionary cinema devoted to showing the achievements and aspirations of the new Socialist society. Their problem was to captivate an enormous, culturally diverse, multi-lingual, semi-literate population in ways that would be emotionally compelling, yet ideologically clear.

The proven ability of movies to achieve this difficult goal inspired Lenin's famous dictum, "For us, cinema is the most important art.," and their stunning innovations recharged world cinema. Editing, or "montage," is the common organizational basis of these films and each of the filmmakers believed the arrangement of shots to be the foundation of film art.

All the films in this set are major works and all are new to DVD. They are Boris Barnet's The House on Trubnaya Square (1928), often described as one of the best Soviet silent comedies; Lev Kuleshov's By the Law (1926), a tense drama set in Alaska and based upon a short story by Jack London.

DVD9 | NTSC 4:3 | 02:44:25 | 7.19 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Russian intertitles
Subtitles: English

The House on Trubnaya / Dom na Trubnoy / Дом на Трубной

Boris Barnet | Comedy | 1928 | 84 minutes

There is a traditional Russian story about a young woman who leaves her village to go the city and is taken advantage of by an unscrupulous man. Her experience in the city is very negative and she returns to the countryside, where she is treated as an outcast. This is the story that inspired The House on Trubnaia Street. Whereas the traditional cautionary story is very much a tragedy, Barnet takes it and transforms it into a story of hope for the then fresh and nascent Soviet society. It is a Soviet movie, but it is in no way heavy-handed, nor does it try and shove anything down your throat, in fact Barnet transforms the story into a comedy.

By the Law / Po zakonu / По закону

Lev Kuleshov | Drama | 1926 | 80 minutes

A five-person team of gold prospectors in the Yukon has just begun to enjoy great success when one of the members snaps, and suddenly kills two of the others. The two survivors, a husband and wife, subdue the killer but are then faced with an agonizing dilemma. With no chance of turning him over to the authorities for many weeks, they must decide whether to exact justice themselves or to risk trying to keep him restrained until they can return to civilization.
Adapted from the Jack London story.

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