Eisenstein PDF (download 10pp.) *
Viva Mexico - I made a dangerous move
-- to let Eisen narrate the Film-North
pages. Dangerous -- because, when you
love somebody, you want to introduce
them in such a way that everybody would
love them. It's easy to love Eisenstein,
but I do have a few serious conflicts with
the man. We both were members of the
quot;Eisenquot; was Eisenstein's nick name. I like his thoughts on film more than Communist Party. Not some French or
his films. Italian com-party, but the one, which is
responsible for millions of dead and many
troubles of the last century. What does it
To save myself and you time here is an article from Encarta 98 have to do with the film? A lot.
It has something to do with Marx, not
Encyclopedia with my comments
Marxism. If the forgiving and forgetful
history can get of historicity, we could
see how radical this short German Jew
was -- no wonder that he caused so
many problems later. quot;God is deadquot; --
another German wrote in horror. Before
him Marx took it for a fact -- God never
И безнравственны эти записки будут вовсе по другому existed!
Now, back to this Sergey-boy in beautiful
Они не будут морализующими. city of Riga. The rejection of Christianity
has everything to do with the art of
cinema. quot;Rejectionquot; means that you have
to believe in something and denounce it.
Они не ставят себе нравственной цели или поучительного при-
Marx did, Eisenstein did -- and I hope I
цела. did it too. In short, this communism
derived from Marx made an extreme step
and said that we are gods (or angels, at
Они ничего не доказывают. Ничего не объясняют. Ничему не least) and can speak the way they do --
научают. in pictures (or visions, like the men of the
Bible). We don't the WORD (only to write
a script we do), we can share our visions,
our dreams, our feelings, our thoughts...
Eisenstein. Мемуары. Том первый. Wie sag' ich's meinem Kinde?!
[ Москва Редакция газеты “Труд” Музей кино 1997 ]
But do they speak this angelic language?
Is there some rules, maybe a grammar?
Eisenstein, Sergey Mikhaylovich (1898-1948), Soviet Yes, said Eisen! Oh, yes! -- he said. You
can watch MTV and see for yourself that
motion-picture director and theorist who experimented the little bold man was right. Well, this is
with the intellectual and expressive possibilities of Christ, Marx, Eisenstein, MTV and you
editing to create a revolutionary new form of cinema. quot;continuityquot; (historical time-frame)...
I do not want to get too quot;deepquot; into
Eisenstein was born in Rмga, Latvia, into a middle-class Marxism in order to explain the
Jewish family. Intending to enter the professions of his ontological roots of montage, but,
father, a prominent architect and civil engineer, he nevertheless, the relativistic model of
quot;selfquot; Marx offered was based on (social?)
enrolled in the Institute of Civil Engineering in Saint associations. Anatoly-male, Anatoly-
Petersburg in 1915. During the Russian Revolution of citizen, Anatoly-driver, Anatoly-professor
1917, Eisenstein joined the revolutionary forces, -- the combination of those quot;linksquot; is
ANATOLY (again, montage) -- can we
putting his engineering talents to use building bridges. show it?
While in military service, he became attracted to the
theater. He also helped decorate propaganda trains EISEN. Yes!
leaving for the front and produced impromptu skits for Not only we can, we should, we must!
his comrades in the revolution.
Demobilized in 1920, Eisenstein enrolled in Moscow's EISEN. Talk about Marx, no, Riga, never
Proletkult (short for quot;proletarian culturequot;) Central mind film! .... Directors' Forum
Workers' Theatre, one of many experimental arts
institutions supported by the Communist government to Virtual Theatre List
educate and indoctrinate the Russian people in the
events and causes of the revolution. After an THR470 Film&Video Directing
apprenticeship as a set designer at the Proletkult,
Eisenstein enrolled in the School for Stage Direction I have to go back to Eisenstein's writing
on film to see the physiological, not
under Vsevolod Meyerhold. This innovative producer psychological effect of film for
advocated radical methods of acting and staging in which understanding the future of the Virtual
stylized movement and speech, rather than naturalistic Theatre. In many ways, seeing is not an
observation act, but a command. When
acting, would convey emotion. Under Meyerhold's the spectator is position in the center of
tutelage, Eisenstein developed what he called a quot;montage the screen event, he is a dramatic hero.
He doesn't watch, he lives it. If vTheatre
of attractions,quot; a bold theory of staging that addressed
gives him active role, he ACTS. He is
the possibility of linking a series of images to evoke SpectActor! He directs -- and controls the
predetermined emotional responses from the spectator. narrative.
The identification in film (and now in
Eisenstein's first films, Stachka (Strike, 1925) and Bronenosets Potemkin
(Battleship Potemkin, 1925), established his reputation as a filmmaker of
international stature. His films departed from commercial movie practices
in several ways: First, his films are didactic; they teach a lesson, rather
than just entertain. For example, Strike and Potemkin deal with historical
situations that dramatize the oppression of workers by the ruling class
under the czars. Second, his characters are types: representatives of
different social classes, instead of well-rounded individuals who are
psychologically motivated. The quot;heroquot; of Eisenstein's first two films is
the collective masses. And third, he uses editing to juxtapose apparently
unrelated images, to create rapid and dynamic shifts in rhythm, and to
compress and expand physical action rather than function simply as a
storytelling device. The best example of these startling effects is
contained in the famous quot;Odessa stepsquot; montage sequence of Potemkin, a
segment of film that greatly influenced the language of cinema. Using a
long flight of steps as his setting, he intercut close-ups of guns and
faces with scenes of fleeing civilians and attacking soldiers to depict the
slaughter of the populace by the czar's troops and the Cossacks during the
revolution of 1905. Eisenstein made two more silent films: Oktyabr
(October, 1928; also known as Ten Days that Shook the World) and Staroe i
novoe (Old and New, 1929; also known as The General Line). The latter was a
propaganda piece advocating collective farming—an agricultural policy in
which government-owned farms were managed and operated cooperatively.
The introduction of sound in the late 1920s by American and European film
industries motivated Eisenstein to tour foreign studios. After delivering a
series of lectures in Europe, he visited Hollywood to explore possible film
projects. Finding no studio interest, he turned to independent production
and secured financing from American novelist Upton Sinclair to produce an
epic of the Mexican people entitled Que Viva Mexico!. A dissatisfied
Sinclair canceled the project midway into production, however.
After returning to Moscow, Eisenstein was discredited for having deviated
from socialist realism, the new cultural policies of Soviet dictator Joseph
Stalin. The official new policies rejected the montage style of film making
and embraced a more accessible style that depicted the lives of common
people in sympathetic ways. Finding no alternative but to submit to
governmental demands, Eisenstein was restored to favor and assigned to
direct his first sound film, Alexander Nevsky (1938), an epic about a
medieval Russian prince who defeated Teutons (Germanic tribes) invading
from Europe. Designed to boost morale in Russia, which anticipated an
attack by the German army, Alexander Nevsky contained a brilliant
integrated music score by composer Sergey Prokofiev. Prokofiev also wrote
the music for Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible, Part I, 1944 and Part II,
1946), a massive wartime effort that was envisioned as a three-part epic
about the czar who unified Russia in the 16th century. Deteriorating health
prevented Eisenstein from completing Part III. He died at age 50,
recognized as one of the greatest innovators of film history. English-
language collections of his writings include The Film Sense (1942), Film
Form (1949), Notes of a Film Director (1959), and Film Essays with a
Contributed By: Tino Balio
He was not a revolutionary, he was the revolution himself.
There was more revolt in his heart than on the streets of Russia... then or now.
Was he a Soviet film-maker? There was no quot;Soviet culturequot; -- he thought that it's their mission to
create this new culture.
There are three films about the birth of the Soviet history -- The Strike, October and The Battleship
There are three film about Russian history: Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible (Part I and Part II).
There are several films we know only by shots and scripts. There are hundreds of projects he never
There are seven volumes of his writing published in the mid seventies. quot;Full Eisensteinquot; in Russian...
He was a happy man. He was lucky. He died of a heart attack at age of fifty, one year before I was
born. He was the founder of the VGIK (Moscow Institute of Cinematography); I graduated from this
place in 1975.
In front of Hermitage during the filming of quot;Octoberquot; -- Eisen is on the right on the top of the platform.
There are many books on Eisenstein and I have no time for history of cinema, including
I have several nostalgic pages mostly about my own film career in Moscow, which never
came to any realization. About the Film Institute I graduated from in 1975, my generation
of filmmakers, who haven't revolutionized film language. We enter the Film World after
1968 as a true postmodern generation of users, not artists.
Also, the relevant film pages in 200X class.
See Film&Drama and Film600 and follow the links.
THE THIRTIES and AFTER
Eisenstein and another great film director -- Pudovkin, rehearsing for a scene in quot;Ivan The Terriblequot;
I screened quot;Potemkinquot; in Film&Drama class next to action movies (Terminator, Speed)
and the effect was obvious -- he developed the secondary motion that CAMERA
Since the cuts on motion are quot;invisible,quot; we compose the movement of the spectator
through event, or building this event around spectator. POV got the new qualitative
dimension -- moving camera is the ACTION.
The combination of primary and secondary movements are constructed on CONFLICT, the
same montage idea...
Cinema of Eisenstein: book review
Eisenstein and Expressionism
Eisen Site: check the links!
Mass and depth of the screen event: not enough to deconstruct the real life in order to reconstruct it on
the screen -- we must quot;preconstructquot; it in order to have the true dramatic (discovered or invented
meaning) screen event.
[I have to go back to Eisen's aesthetics, when we talk about the style of Hamlet2002...]
NB. If I'll have time I should place the Amazon links to Eisenstein in this new quot;bookstorequot; -- and about
Eisenstein. Although, if you will go to Amazon, I made some sort of quot;Anatoly's Storequot; with my
recommendations on books, videos and DVDs. Search for quot;Anatoly Antohinquot; and it should bring you to
my lists. (new)
Also, check the quot;htmlgearsquot; of recommended books and films (in many places on my webpages).
I know that Eisenstein is not that quot;easy read,quot; but keep his books and read, until they begin to make
sense -- then you understand the LANGUAGE of film.
Everything I wrote in POV began with my teenager's years of doing just that.
Philosophy of Film (POV files).
The two diagonals cross in front of the baby carriage of the axis of movement. There will be several
cuts to the vector-line in this sequence. The whole episode is built around this (vertical) line of this
primary motion (dawn). The shot on the left is a reversed POV, Eisen uses the 180 degree camera
placement (to contrast the quot;solder's POVquot;). Montage (cuts) is more effective than the secondary motion
used so much nowadays (dolly shot, pan, zoom); it focuses ONLY on the most important, cutting out
everything else. Here is the demonstration of the power of CUT! (I don't remember in which book is the
shot-by-shot analysis of this staircase segment). Must read CUT Page.
2002: the new German/Canadian film, Eisenstein, directed by Renny Bartlett at the Film Forum through
Jan. 15. The focus of course is on the filmic career of the great director, with excerpts from his work,
and what is seen as his Faustian artistic deal with Stalin. Extra theatrical interest is provided by the
exploration of Eisenstein's relationship with his mentor, Meyerhold, and by the fact that Eisenstein is
played by Simon McBurney, director of the noted British Theatre de Complicite. 209 West Houston St.
[ ... ]
I think I was right to assert in my Literature and Cinematography (1923) that plot is
nothing more than an imaginary union of effects, a thread weaving the individual
attractions together like beads on a string. Corpuscles of primordial sensations --
that was the main thing. Or so we thought. We considered a word, first and foremost, as
a quot;self-woven, self-purposeful entity,quot; rather than as bearer of a concept in its
relation to other words.
But a word exists and changes in its relationship with contiguous words. A word can no
more be taken in isolation than color can. I had better clarify my meaning.
A human being thinks not with sensations but with concepts, with concepts invented by
him and singled out from the surrounding world. These concepts persist even when we
turn away from the world, when the world ceases to impose its contours on us in the
form of concepts. The ability to analyze or to integrate, to see things large and
things small, to measure out concepts in space -- which becomes a concept too when it
is experienced as thought -- this ability is a great attribute, an achievement of the
During the thirties many artists were carried away by detail. In the theater the play
had become a kind of pretext for the creation of stage situations, while in poetry a
line or a couplet or a stressed word singled out by rhyme held dominance over the
general plot structure.
Sometimes the plot structure would be repeated. For example, Mayakovsky repeated the
following sequence of events a number of times: A man is born, dies, is resurrected and
returns to a changed world.
This is the schema for A Cloud in Pants, Mystery-Bouffe, Man, War and the World and
The individual fragments are remarkably diverse and accomplished, while the plot
structure is conventionally lyrical.
That's how it appears at first. However, in poetry the juxtapositions of the parts are
very complex and anticipated by the whole history of art. The juxtaposition of high and
low (of which we shall speak later) along with artistic irony (understood in a lofty
sense) transform the individual semantic utterances. [ Shklovsky ] POV: Click to View
Links. @1999-2004 film-north *
** On this page I can't talk about the Meyerhold's influence on Eisenstein (overloaded), but I believe
that we can find ALL Meyer's theories within the Eisen's films (from the silents to The Ivan the Terrible).
Principles of acting (biomechanics), camera's behavior (quot;camera actsquot;), constructivistic mise-en-scene.
In fact, I think that Meyerhold was shot and Eisenstein canonized, because the difference in media
(theatre v. screen). Theatre -- traditional art (past), film -- new (future). quot;For us is the most important
art is cinema,quot; wrote Lenin, who understood the mass-culture effect (as Hitler discovered radio).
Everything that looks quot;formalisticquot; on stage, is the linguistic forms on the screen. If you take a second
look at Eisenstein, you notice that everything is quot;stagedquot; -- and all that you need to examine the
principles of E' staging.
The shot, for Eisenstein, functions as a molecule or cell of the overall montage
process. Like the series of explosions in an internal combustion engine, shots collide
and, in doing so, 'serve as impulses driving forward the total film.' [ Sergei
Eisenstein & Jay Leda (ed.), Film Form (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1949), p.38. ]
Yet, the intensity of the reaction to this collision of shots and, indeed, the
direction the collision will take is dependent upon the opposing forces within the shot
itself; because, as Eisenstein suggests, 'conflict within the shot is potential
montage, in the development of its intensity shattering the quadrilateral cage of the
shot and exploding its conflict into montage impulses between the montage pieces.'(8)
Thus, the shot essentially forms the first molecule of the whole process of montage. It
is from the conflicts within an individual shot that the very nature of the ensuing
montage process is determined.
Conflict within the frame takes several forms, all of which can be found to be
operating simultaneously within one particular shot. In his writings, Eisenstein
identifies five forms of this conflict, each of which are examined below.
see the shot * In his essay, 'A Dialectical Approach to Film Form', Eisenstein articulated
the doctrine which underlies many of his theories relating to montage:
For art is always conflict:
(1) according to its social mission,
(2) according to its nature,
see montage theories Russian Directors & More: Click to View Links. It was in April 1921 that
Eisenstein, having been appointed to Collegium of the Proletkult Theatre, first met
Meyerhold. He observed the rehearsals for Meyerhold's second production of Mystery
Bouffe and, in September, enrolled at the State Higher Theatre Directors' Workshop
(GVYRM). In 1922, he assisted Meyerhold in his production of Tarelkin's Death.
However, by 1923, Eisenstein had turned his attention to cinema and, in his production
of the play Enough Simplicity, he included his first film, Gloumov's Diary, as an
This coalescence of theatre and film was reflected in his essay, 'The Montage of
Attractions' which appeared in Lef in 1923.
“Visse, scrisse, aто... ”
Как бы хотелось исчерпать статью о себе столь же скупо — тремя словами.
Сами слова при этом были бы, вероятно, иными, чем эти три, которыми резюмировал свой
жизненный путь Стендаль.
Эти три слова — по-русски: “Жил, писал, любил ” — согласно завещанию Стендаля, должны были
служить эпитафией на его могиле.
Правда, законченным я свой жизненный путь не полагаю.
(И боюсь, что на нем предстоит еще немало хлопот.)
А потому в три слова улягусь вряд ли.
Но, конечно, три слова могли бы найтись и здесь.
Для меня они были бы:
“Жил, задумывался, увлекался ”.
И пусть последующее послужит описанием того, чем жил, над чем задумывался и чем увлекался
potemkin script *