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После смерти | After Death (RU 1915)

May 18, 2015

Silents, Please!

01d-Posle-smerti-(Yevgeni-Bauer,-1915)-Zoya-closeup-2
The luminous face of Vera Karalli.

For me, Yevgeni Bauer is one of the cinematic greats of the teens, and of silent cinema in general.  In a word, his films are elegant.  Always beautifully composed in terms of framing, editing, and mise-en-scène, most of his films that I’ve seen are society dramas with a strong psychological dimension and often a gothic sense to them.  His most frequent collaborators were actresses Vera Kholnodnaya, so loved that when she died in 1917 Russia declared a national day of mourning; actress and ballerina Vera Karalli; and cinematographer Boris Zavelev (who later shot Zvenyhora); of course, he also worked with many other leading actors and personnages of the day.

После Смерти (After Death; translit. Posle Smerti), starring Vera Karalli and Vitold Polonsky in the lead roles, was released a few days after Christmas in 1915.  It tells the story of Andrei Bagrov…

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