Sergei Eisenstein -- c/d?

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I'm kind of thinking of this as a companion question to the "Robert Johnson -- classic or dud?" question on ILM. Does the wealth of theory and writing on (and by) Eisenstein stop you from enjoying his films as entertainment? Are they wooden, dated and full of clumsy symbolism or alive with the joy of a medium being born?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 17:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

no, i find his films to be among the most continually exciting and surprising in the canon. besides they are just plain WEIRD. (especially from october forward.) some of symbolism in the early work is a little clumsy (even if it's beautifully rendered by Eisenstein and his cinematographer Tisse) but by Ivan the Terrible it's rich beyond description (actually Yuri Tsivian has attempted to describe the layers of symbolism in that film in his BFI book).

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 17:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

it's k-sad that he only got to make a few films (and that he died so young) and that he wasn't allowed to finish Que Viva Mexico.

The great "what if" in cinema history is what if Eisenstein had made good during his Hollywood sojourn and stayed there (he thought about it). Tammy and the Bachelor, directed by Sam Eisenstein?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 17:59 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

why do people even bother posting here when each thread gets one or two answers and then dies?

amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 19:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I don't know, amateurist, I don't know. I guess it's up to us to keep the threads exciting, informative, and fun!

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 20:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I love October, btw.

Name-check alert One of my very best friends is in fact Sergei Eisenstein's great, great grandaughter. I am constantly urging her to cash in on the name, but she finds that nobody actually recognizes it.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 19 August 2003 20:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've only ever seen Battleship Potemkin. it's a great film, very exciting. the bit where the guys are covered in tarpaulin and the captain is trying to get the other guys to shoot them is very scarey.

I also like the bit where the guy in Odessa comes out with some ill received anti-semitic outburst and then is embarrassed.

and it has a dirty vicar.

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 21 August 2003 15:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

by the way, are the steps that the party goers come down in that Russia's Ark film the same steps that the revolutionaries charge up in October?

DV (dirtyvicar), Thursday, 21 August 2003 15:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i think so!

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 21 August 2003 17:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Well, it is the Winter Palace.

Haven't seen nearly as much Eisenstein as I should have, but I actually like Alexander Nevsky a slight bit more than Battleship Potemkin. The battle scene is just...mwah!

Girolamo Savonarola, Thursday, 21 August 2003 18:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i like the buxom viking maidens in that one.

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 21 August 2003 20:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've seen clips of the battle scene in Alexander Nevsky. it does look good.

the local vid library has Ivan The Terrible on DVD... it seems to be all about how Ivan The Terrible is actually G*R*A*T*E in a hymn-to-Stalin kind of way.

DV (dirtyvicar), Friday, 22 August 2003 10:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

well arguably the second "Ivan" film is a critique of Stalin. the whole film is about the paranoia that comes with power, and the death meted out as a result--it makes Ivan into a simultaneously grotesque and tragic figure. anyway the "Ivan" films are the strangest films you will ever see, I'm confident. no way can they be reduced to either Stalinist paen *or* or Stalinist critique.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 22 August 2003 16:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

sehr interessant

DV (dirtyvicar), Sunday, 24 August 2003 18:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

CLASSIC, if even for Ivan the Terrible alone. I'm with amateurist on this one. The two films are without peer.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Thursday, 28 August 2003 05:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

Thanks!

Another Muzak from a Diffident Lichen (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 June 2011 23:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

It's pretty wry when Prince Nevsky says "it's better to die than to leave your homeland" considering Eisenstein had only returned a couple years before from jaunts in Mexico, Europe and America.

carrotless, turnip-pocketed (fionnland), Tuesday, 6 March 2018 21:51 (one year ago) Permalink


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