New Babylon (1929) Restored


The 2015 full length 2,580 metre restoration of New Babylon; Dimitri Shostakovich’s premier work for cinema and the USSR’s first great lost unrecorded sound film, available in High Definition for 24fps large screen Digital Projection to ac- company live performances of the composer’s original published 1929 newly discovered solo piano score: “Music for the Film New Babylon: Opus 17.

An extraordinary piece of film making New Babylon is both the last great film of the Soviet avant-garde and the final mas- terpiece of its two young directors, Leonid Trauberg and Grigorii Kozintsev and their Factory of the Eccentric Actor theatre collective. A young Dimitri Shostakovich (23 years old), already a rising star in the Russian music world, was commissioned to write the orchestral score which he did in less than three weeks.

Marek Pytel of Reality Films has meticulously reconstructed, restored and remastered completely all the originally cut materials and has now completed a version of the film. Furthermore, a discovery was recently made of the original piano score published in 1929. This arrangement was never publicly performed, apart from a couple of preview screenings, with Shostakovich himself at the piano, before the last minute edit of the film which ruined the hopes of Trauberg, Kozintsev and Shostakovich's astonishing, seditious and anti-militarist film masterpiece. They turned out to be the only accurate performances the film ever received.