1921-1930HorrorKonstantin EggertSilentSoviet silent cinemaUSSRVladimir Gardin

Konstantin Eggert & Vladimir Gardin – Medvezhya svadba AKA The Bear’s Wedding (1925)

Grigorii Grebner and Anatolii Lunacharskii adapted Lunacharskii’s play (based on a story by Prosper Merimee) to the screen. Since it was yet another glaring example of the commercial “line” of the studio Mezhrabpom Rus’, “The Bear’s Wedding” was an odd effort indeed for the Commissar of Enlightenment to be associated with.

Konstantin Eggert both directed and starred as Count Shemet, cursed by his insane mother’s traumatic experience with a bear to have seizures during which he himself becomes a “bear” on the kill. Eggert’s direction of the movie is as odd as the plot. The whole film is unsettling. The titles are too long; there are interminable shots of irrelevant action; the cutting is uneven. The heroine is unsuitably comic, spasmodically jumping around, smearing ink on her face, knocking things over. For some reason the somber, doomed count falls in love with this girl and decides to marry her.

Yet, from the wedding scene to the end (the last third of the movie), it is almost as though there were a different director. Eggert suddenly gained control of the material. The wild celebration of the wedding becomes a sinister and completely appropriate metaphor for the madness in the household: madness both apparent (the mother) and hidden (the count).
The climax of this nightmare is the bride’s violent death in her wedding bed, a gruesome, sexually charged scene brilliantly executed by Eggert. There is a striking shot of her maimed body in the foreground as the “bear,” coming to his senses, realizes what he has done.

The moving closeups of his face as he flees the scene on his horse are also extremely effective. The victim’s sister eventually kills him, and the cursed castle is engulfed in flames.

1.65GB | 1h 10m | 768×554 | mkv


Language:Silent,Russian Intertitles

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