Medvezhya Svadba (1925)

MEDVEZHYA SVADBA (1925)
aka The Marriage of the Bear
Article 5372 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-16-2017
Directed by Konstantin Eggert and Vladimir Gardin
Featuring Konstantin Eggert, Vera Malinovskaya, B. Afonin
Country: U.S.S.R.
What it is: Horrific drama

On a hunting expedition, a pregnant noblewoman is attacked by a bear. Years later, the son that was born to her and has inherited the estate has taken to stalking women while wearing a bear skin.

Here’s a title that was consigned to my “ones that got away” list many years ago, but which has recently popped up on YouTube; unfortunately, the print does not have English subtitles, and I had to seek the help of a few sketchy plot descriptions to figure out parts of the story. Visually, it’s an interesting movie at times, and it occasionally uses a rapid-fire editing technique that would be interesting to evaluate. However, two circumstances prevented me from enjoying this technique. The first is that since I was unable to read the Russian title cards, I couldn’t quite grasp the context of the scenes. Second, the copy I saw of the movie seemed to be running at a slightly accelerated speed, and the rapid-fire edits went by so quickly it was difficult to focus in on or absorb the images. The story itself is a variation on the werewolf legend, though with something more of psychological transformation rather than a physical one. This is one I may have to give another chance sometime when it has an English translation; as it is, I found the movie a little frustrating. Still, like many of the “ones that got away”, I count myself lucky that I was able to find it at all.

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