Eisenstein Rediscovered (Soviet Cinema) by Ian Christie

By Ian Christie

In Eisenstein Rediscovered Ian Christie and Richard Taylor current the 1st precise East-West symposium on Eisenstein with an exceptional range of perspectives and methodologies. newly found texts via Eisenstein are the following translated fro the 1st time, and the entire participants make wide use of fabric only in the near past on hand - version scripts, drawings, diaries and different writings - to probe in the back of the usual facade. The `new' Eisenstein that emerges is in all respects a extra enticing and modern determine than is characteristically perceived, his wit, eroticism and exlectic passions defining a distinctively sleek sensibility whose rediscovey is lengthy past due.

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There has been a new impetus in Eisenstein studies and this is not only due to the anniversary of his ‘ninetieth birthday’. There have been many changes in our world, many changes in our cinema and in the relationship between cinema and the other mass media as well. Paradoxically, our image of Eisenstein is also changing all the time. The most positive aspect of this whole process is that he has not yet been canonised. We can still argue about him. Indeed he does not allow himself to be canonised.

Passive or complicit in his assassination; while the ensuing accession to power is portrayed in frankly erotic (albeit ironic) terms. 116 Did Mexico also make possible Eisenstein’s fullest exploration of his hitherto repressed sexuality? This would not be surprising, if only because Tetlapayac provided more personal and social freedom than he enjoyed at any other time in his life (bearing in mind that he lived mostly with his mother and old nanny in Moscow). Apart from the story Seton recounts about his deliberate attempt to embarrass Upton Sinclair by sending a trunk packed with scandalous drawings to be found by United States customs, it is from this period that most of the known erotic 22 IAN CHRISTIE Figure 6 Castration, represented as decapitation, recurs in many of Eisenstein’s variations on The Death of King Duncan’, May—June 1931.

True, there were many preparatory drawings for Alexander Nevsky—he was fascinated by the image of the Teutonic knights in their sinister heraldic helmets—but only for Ivan the Terrible among all his completed films was there any quantity of actual design and mise-en-scène sketches (which may be explained by the fact that he acted as his own designer on this production). 109 But although these gave full rein to his love of allusion and caricature, they constituted graphic design, with the distractions of colour, texture and implied volume, rather than the ‘pure’ line drawing, or ‘ascetic search for form’, that continued to fascinate him.

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