From the archive. Two Days in America. 1929 P.

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Two Days is the first VUFKU’s movie that was commercially released in the United States and became an object of a wide discussion in American press.

 

Two Days had its premiere on I/II this year in New York in the Film Gold Cinema theatre that was opened on that day for the first time. Modern architecture of the theatre and new means for screening (black walls and ceiling), that distinguish this theatre from others in the United States, along with its location in the centre of the ‘Bohemian’ district bordering on both purely American and émigré areas, aroused lively interest of the audience in the theatre opening and allowed to show Two Days to most diverse audience groups.

On I/II there was an open show for the representatives of art, literature, press and people from ‘lower circles’. The next day the theatre was opened for the public, and the New York press started commenting the film.

The film is there already for the third week. That testifies to its great success.

The first thing American critics got interested in is the issue of propaganda:

‘This movie that comes from Russia, – writes the New York Sun, – is again an obvious Soviet propaganda, but well-played and well-processed’.
‘The artistic side of the movie was not overloaded with propaganda as we could have expected from Stalin’s country’, – stressed New York’s The Times in amazement.

The New York cinema weekly Variety was most hard-hitting in its comments about Two Days, since it generally treats Soviet movies highly negatively. It qualifies Two Days as ‘an irritating foreign nonsense labeled as art, deprived of any inspiration and being the last manifestation of the brutality of acting, film director’s work and the script’.

American film critics, reflecting in general the tastes of the wider audience, claim that two Days is too hard a movie, cruel, tragic, that is shows some unpleasant reality details. In general, this movie does not correspond to the key requirement of American movies: to provide entertainment and to promote digestion. Well, yes!

As far as acting of I. Zamychlovskyi performing the key role of the old servant in Two Days is concerned, we can read the most about him:

‘He humanizes his part very well’ (New York Times); ‘he provides authentic acting, often causing empathy, though not feelings’, ‘Zamychkovskyi, acting the part of the old servant, provides a very realistic and impressive portrait. In his well-planned and detailed acting he resembles Emil Jannings’ (World); ‘he plays his part in a detailed way and provides a complete and interesting type (Forwerts); ‘Zamychkovskyi cannot be compared to any other actor’ (Tag).

Besides that, we come across the following general remarks:
’A breath of realism, convincing seriousness and dull power can be felt in the movie, – that all definitely impresses. The movie Two Days differs from all other Soviet movies we have watched in that it focuses dramatic tension not on the masses but on individuals’ (New York Herald Tribune).

‘This movie provides a very live picture of the events in Ukraine at the moment when the old regime was escaping and when any minute you could expect an attack of the Red Cavalry. These events were played with such tension and so little attention to theatre traditions that we often have to remind ourselves that this is a game movie, and not an authentic film chronicle (World).