Description: Footage of the aftermath of the January 14 1931 Earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico. Read More »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Sergei Eisenstein & Grigory Alexandrov – Frauennot – Frauenglück AKA Misery and Fortune of Woman (1929)
This short film shows the contrast between the good conditions in which a rich woman makes a abortion and the miserable and dangerous condition in which a poor woman has to do an abortion. Read More »
The first film from Eisenstein.
” Eisenstein’s interest in film began with an appreciation of the work of D.W. Griffith, whose editing style influenced him in the production of his first cinematic endeavor, the 1923 five-minute newsreel parody Dnevnik Glumova. A stint with Lev Kuleshov’s film workshop followed, as did an increasing fascination with the burgeoning avant-garde.” Read More »
Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei M. Eisenstein – Oktyabr AKA October AKA Ten Days That Shook the World (1928)
Description: Expanding on his editing experiments in Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei Eisenstein melded documentary realism with narrative metaphor to depict the pivotal events of the Russian Revolution in October (1927). Commissioned to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution, Eisenstein focused on a few key events from February 1917 to October 1917. Underlining the symbolic importance of those episodes, Eisenstein constructed October as an elaborate “intellectual montage,” deriving meaning from the metaphorical or symbolic relationships between shots. Drawing out narrative time through cutting, Eisenstein turns an opening drawbridge into a sign of the divisive struggle in St. Petersburg. Similarly exaggerating the time that it takes provisional leader Kerensky to climb a palatial staircase, and intercutting shots of Kerensky with a Napoleon statue and a mechanical peacock, Eisenstein satirically reveals Kerensky’s imperial hubris and vanity. Having done extensive research for accuracy, Eisenstein also staged mass battles, particularly the storming of the Winter Palace, with thousands of extras, including the Soviet army. Before October’s release, however, Josef Stalin’s ascent to power required Eisenstein to edit out all references to Stalin rival Trotsky. Neither the Soviet public nor the Soviet leaders cared for the finished film; the government accused Eisenstein of “formalist excess.” An edited version of the film was released in the U.S. using the title of John Reed’s book, Ten Days That Shook the World. While the film’s whole is not as great as its parts, the abstract power and narrative innovation of its greatest sequences still render it a seminal work in the development of film form.
~Lucia Bozzola allmovie Read More »
From Turner Classic Movies:
On the day of his coronation as the first Tsar of Russia, the former archduke of Moscow, Ivan IV (Nikolai Cherkasov), finds himself inheriting a deeply troubled empire. The Russian people are divided into estranged clans including the Tartars and the aristocratic boyars, led by the evil, black-cloaked princess and Ivan’s aunt Euphrosinia Staritskaya (Serafima Birman). Read More »
Grigoriy Aleksandrov & Sergei M. Eisenstein – Staroye i novoye aka The Old and the New aka The General Line (1929)
The horseless Marfa Lapkina, together with the local agronomist and other poor peasants, organizes a dairy farm in the village. However, local kulaks are actively resisting the project and any success it could provide. Old poor people also resists, not understanding the meaning of camaraderie and what their unification could bring to them… Read More »
Marie Seton wrote:
When he made Potemkin in 1925, Sergei Eisenstein was not only a man with his total personality dedicated to creative work — albeit a creative work aimed at destroying all orthodox concepts of ‘art’ — but he was also a revolutionary fighter, a propagandist for the Russian Revolution. Thus, his work had a utilitarian purpose as well as an artistic one. He was educator and artist. At its most obvious level, Potemkin was regarded as propaganda for the Revolution; at a deeper level it was a highly complex work of art which Eisenstein thought would affect every man who beheld it, from the humblest to the most learned. Read More »