A Study of Sergei Eisenstein’s Montage Theory Essay …
Eisenstein was steeped in accounts of the 1905 Revolution, and in particular 'Bloody Sunday', when troops opened fire upon a peaceful demonstration at the Tsar's Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Because of 'the wild outburst of reaction and repression...the brutality in my pictures is indissolubly tied up with the theme of social injustice, and revolt against it...'8 His early working years included stints with the Petrograd militia, as a cartoonist for the Petersburgskaya Gazeta, decorating the agitprop trains leaving for the front, and as an engineer in the Red Army during the civil war, serving on the Eastern Front. 'The melting pot of the civil war and military engineering work at the front...' gave him '...a fascinating sense of history in the making, which had made a deep impression with the broad canvas of the fates of nations and epic ambitions, and was then realised in the thematics of future films of monumental scale'.9
Montage in Films of Sergei Eisenstein Essay
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Essays and criticism on Sergei Eisenstein ..
Eisenstein was born in Riga in 1898 to 'a tyrannical Papa', the architect and civil engineer Mikhail Osipovich, who fought for the White Russians during the civil war and died in Berlin in 1920. In an attempt to reclaim Eisenstein for liberals, his biographer, Ronald Bergan, tries to rescue him from his claim 'to be a Marxist all his life'4 by seizing on the oedipal nature of Sergei's relationship with this small minded philistine. Bergan's psychologism privileges this one internal aspect and denies Eisenstein's capacity to transcend his own personal interests. His case seems to be sustained by Eisenstein's own account of his conflict with his father: 'The reason why I came to support social protest had little to do with the real miseries of social injustice, or material privations, or the zigzags of the struggle for life, but directly and completely from what is surely the prototype of every social tyranny - the father's despotism in a family, which is also a survival of the basic despotism of the head of the "tribe" in every primitive society'.5
Sergei eisenstein essays film theory
Eisenstein's studies at the Institute of Civil Engineering in Petrograd were disrupted by the 1917 revolution. Any thoughts of renewing them were rapidly eclipsed by his fascination with theatre, especially that of his future mentor, the actor and theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold, who ran the Proletkult Theatre in Moscow. Along with the poet Mayakovsky, and the artists Malevich and Tatlin, Meyerhold reassessed the Futurist and Symbolist movements in the pre-revolution years and came up with Constructivism, which would 'be a branch of production, in the service of the revolution' rather than 'pure' art.10 Meyerhold had rejected the naturalism of Stanislavsky's acting methods at the 'monolithic' Moscow Arts Theatre, which would later be 'enshrined as the apogee of Stalinist art'.11 He sought instead to prove the 'primacy of physiological gesture over psychological emotion'12 (as Pavlov was attempting to establish through his experiments concerning reflex conditioning at the time). Subscribing to William James's dictum that 'we weep not because we are sad; we are sad because we weep,' Meyerhold used circus spectacular and body mechanics and drew from commedia dell'arte in order to produce a 'non-verbal, stylised, conventional theatre'. Even F W Taylor, whose time and motion studies in American factories led directly to the deepening of workers' exploitation, exerted an influence. Theoretical faultlines cracked wide open as Stanislavsky sank deeper into mysticism, exploring the Hindu concept of 'prana' and trying to get people to feel radiation rays emitted from his actors' fingertips, provoking an attack by Meyerhold for being 'out of key with the epoch of the machine, the mass, urbanism and Americanism'.13
Sergei Eisenstein vs Andre Bazin Essay - 1230 Words
Ken Russell filches Alexander Nevsky's knights on ice battle spectacular for Billion Dollar Brain, whilst De Palma shamelessly and thoroughly pastiches the Odessa Steps sequence from The Battleship Potemkin in The Untouchables. Naked Gun is by no means the silliest of many other screen references: the cliché of the baby carriage careering down the Odessa Steps (of which there were only 120, not the hundreds of the cinematic illusion Eisenstein created through rapid repetitive intercutting) is now instantly recognisable even to people who have never watched an Eisenstein movie.