Great review in The Quietus

David Stubbs visits the BFI to ponder the effect of talkies on avant garde music. Read more here:

“The main feature is a new soundtrack to Vsevolod Pudovkin’s 1926 film Mother, based on a novel by Maxim Gorky. It’s a fine movie, though it probably belongs in the second rank of Russian revolutionary cinema, behind the great masterpieces of Sergei Eisenstein, whose montage methods it uses, though not to the same ingenious effect. Nonetheless, it packs a tremendous emotional clout, added to greatly by the contemporary, live soundtrack of Norwegians Aggie Peterson (Frost), Per Martinsen (Mental Overdrive) and the Russian Sergey Suokas (Slow). Set in 1905, the film tells the story of a family riven by a worker’s strike. The father is hired by the strike-breakers, his son is a revolutionary. When the father dies, the son is among those jailed on trumped up charges. The mother comes round to his support and in a stirring, albeit tragic climax, joins the revolutionaries, the epitome of the resolve of the Russian masses, whose uprising is symbolised by footage of the ice floes of winter broken up by the coming spring. The trio’s soundtrack is equal to the massive forces and themes which course through the film – tornadoes of micro-sound, a million tiny electric furies, during the strikebreaking scenes, great, heavy washes of melodic fragrance during the more poignant moments and pulse-quickening robotic beats as the film moves towards its final, armed confrontation. A perfect marriage of noises and silents.”


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