Fair enough. The writing is the shortcoming of this film, no doubt. But the filmmaking is very strong, particularly in the first half, and for me the presentation makes it strong enough to succeed in spite of the somewhat clumsy source material. Ivan is an interesting point of comparison, since the films are a very direct allegory -- one that no viewer could fail to understand -- but likewise the films, which I think are Eisenstein's best, easily surpass any objections one may have about the simplicity of the material. Admittedly, you can probably parse Eisenstein's Ivan/Stalin metaphor a bit more easily or with more rewarding results; but, then again, I wonder if we can be blamed for not looking a little more closely at the nuances in Shepitko's film.knives wrote:That's why I used Platoon. It may have no visual subtlety, but compared to The Ascent it's Ivan the Terrible. Stone doesn't have somebody telling Dafoe that he's Jesus.
In any case, being a Christ allegory of any sort doesn't rankle with me enough to discount an entire work, or else I'd have to sneer at half the Western canon. And lack of subtlety in religious or political art doesn't bother me so much either, or else I probably wouldn't watch much Soviet cinema.