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Sergei Eisenstein (1898 - 1948)

Related: montage - Russian cinema - director

On film adaptation: Sergei Eisenstein noted that the novels of Charles Dickens were filmed more often than any material except the Bible, and he explained this by Dickens's style. According to Eisenstein, a good source novel contains a great deal of action and extensive physical description. Novels that feature internal struggles and intellectual debate are difficult to film, but novels that offer descriptions of scenery and which posit their debates in plotting are easy to film. [May 2006]


Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (Russian: Сергей Михайлович Эйзенштейн) (January 23, 1898–February 11, 1948) was a Russian director noted for his films Battleship Potemkin and Oktober, both based loosely on a true story and presented in a realistic fashion, causing an immeasurable influence on early documentary directors owing to his innovative use of montage.

Eisenstein, who was born in Riga, was a pioneer in the use of editing. He believed that film editing was more than merely a method used to link scenes together in a movie; he felt that careful editing could actually be used to manipulate the emotions of the audience. He performed long research into this area, and developed what he called "montage". His published books The Film Form and The Film Sense explain his theories of montage, and they have been highly influential to many directors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Eisenstein [Sept 2004]

¡Que viva Mexico! (1932)

This record only represents the 200,000-plus feet of unedited film that Sergei M. Eisenstein, Grigori Alexandrov and Edouard Tissé shot in Mexico 1931/32 for Mary and Upton Sinclair and three American co-financiers. It was Eisenstein's vision to end up with movie about Mexico in six parts called "Calavera", "Sandunga", "Maguey", "Fiesta", "Soldadera", and "Epilogue". The project was cancelled before it was completed due to cost overruns and months-delayed completion, and the producers refused to let Eisenstein attempt to edit anything from the material he had finished after Stalin called him back to the USSR. From this footage the following pictures were subsequently edited by other hands: Thunder Over Mexico (1933), Eisenstein in Mexico (1933), Death Day (1934), Time In the Sun (1940) and ¡Que Viva Mexico! - Da zdravstvuyet Meksika! (1979). Since this record covers only the unassembled original footage, no reviews/comments should be placed in this record, but rather with the applicable, released version listed above. --http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022756/ [Sept 2004]

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