November 24, 2014, 4:00 p.m. — Little Red Devils aka Red Imps (1923)
Little Red Devils aka Red Imps
1923. USSR. Directed and cowritten by Ivan Perestiani. With Pyotr Yesikovsky, Sofia Zozeffi, V. Sutyrin. Jay Leyda called Little Red Devils “the first Soviet (Georgian) film to compete successfully with all foreign products on the country’s screens.” Set during the Ukrainian War of Independence, the film adopts the styles of American adventure films, à la Douglas Fairbanks (and D. W. Griffith), in narrating the exploits of two daredevil teenagers (brother and sister) and a young black acrobat who volunteer as scouts in the Red Cavalry. V. Sutyrin gives an interesting portrayal of the anarchist leader Makhno, whose band of “bandits” is pursued by Budyenny’s cavalry in the film’s freewheeling recreation of historical events. Silent, with Russian intertitles, simultaneous English translation, and piano accompaniment. 100 min.