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Or twenty years ago. There is a focus on naked human bodies, and the emergence of a completely new theme for Eisenstein, an interest in sexual desire. The Feast of the Virgin reworks cults of much more ancient gods, predating colonisation. In the Easter ceremony of the Stations of the Cross Eisenstein shows a line of pilgrims crawling on their knees up the thousand steps of a great monastery that used to be a pyramidal Mayan temple.

The imagery can be read in different ways: as an attempt to emphasise that there is a continuity in Mexican culture from pre-Columbian times to the present — surviving in essence but taking on different forms — or as revealing a tension between the present and an ultimately irrepressible traumatic past. It also marks a shift towards a different attitude to religion, which Eisenstein here acknowledges and explores as a powerful cultural force.

At the same time, Eisenstein started the major theoretical study Method , his magnum opus , dedicated to formulating a unified method of art, on which he worked until his death in Unlike his earlier preoccupation with montage, which is often and legitimately aligned with structuralist analysis, Method can be seen as a departure from and a critique of structuralism. The distinct feature of the approach Eisenstein adopted in Method is his consistent and determined historicism, while paying equal attention to the synchronic and the diachronic aspects of works of art.

At the core of his theorising in Method , Eisenstein positioned what he called the Grundproblem , the German term he used to define the central problem of art, which he saw as the paradoxical coexistence of two dimensions or axes in any work of art: the logical and sensuous, cognitive and emotional, rational and irrational, conscious and unconscious. The human mind operates on several evolutionary levels simultaneously. The exploration of the Grundproblem became, for Eisenstein, an exploration of such archaic forms of thinking and operating.

In uncovering the evolutionary sources of such forms, Eisenstein looked back not only to earlier stages of human history, but to the evolution of Homo Sapiens as a species and the very emergence of life as such. In contemporary terms, Grundproblem addresses the relationship between cinema, meaning-making and the brain-body system.

Bibliography 4.10

At the same time there is another research question that Eisenstein pursues in Method : he investigates how expressive means of artistic media other than cinema — literature, dance, painting, music — correspond or contrast with the specific devices and techniques of cinema. The central ideas of Method were presented by its author at a major Soviet filmmakers conference, the All Union Creative Congress, in They were judged incompatible with the newly adopted doctrine of Soviet Socialist Realism.

As a result, Method had to wait more than fifty years for publication the study was first published in Russian in In the same year, , Eisenstein began working on his first sound feature, Bezhin lug Bezhin Meadow , , which he conceived as a practical exploration of the issues addressed theoretically in Method. However, the Soviet authorities declared Bezhin Meadow a failure and banned the film.

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The historical basis of Bezhin Meadow was an episode in which a young boy, Pavlik Morozov, informed on his father for sabotaging a decision of the Soviet authorities, and was murdered by his uncles for betraying his father. The story was quickly turned into a modern Soviet myth in popular culture and propaganda celebrating the victory of the new social order over blood ties. Just as the story of Abraham and Isaac exposes the tension between the ethical and the religious, the story of Pavlik Morozov exposes the tension between the ethical and the ideological. Hence, the central question that Eisenstein raises in Bezhin Meadow can be seen as the question of the ethics of sacrificing human lives — for ritual, religious or ideological purposes.

His interest in a strong personality — in contrast to the early focus on a mass protagonist — emerged gradually over the s. What was of particular interest to Eisenstein in these scenarios is the notion of hubris and the limits of power, an issue that acquired heightened urgency in Russia in the mids. Alexander Nevsky Eisenstein, It is worth noting, however, that the Russian Orthodox Church made Alexander Nevsky a saint in , and through his figure Eisenstein was also inevitably tapping into another theme — the preservation of Orthodoxy at the core of a national consciousness.

The film opens with Alexander facing multiple threats — the despotic rule of Tatar Khan in the East and persistent German campaigns from the West. Alexander decides to fight the invasion of Teutonic knights and defeats them in the scene of the famous Ice battle.

However, what Eisenstein envisaged happening after this victory is more revealing: encouraged by his success, Alexander is tempted to take on the Tatars but then realises that his forces are not strong enough and shows restrain by pledging his loyalty to Batu Khan, the grandson of Ghengis Khan and the leader of the Horde.

However, the projected ending of the film was not to be celebratory, but tragic — Alexander was to die of poisoning by lesser Russian princes jealous of his success and threatened by his growing power. Work on the film was closely supervised by another scriptwriter, Pyotr Pavlenko, assigned to the production and controlled by Stalin himself.

British Film Institute.

Goodwin, James 1 January Eisenstein, Cinema, and History. University of Illinois Press. LaValley, Albert J. Eisenstein at A Reconsideration.

Strike (Eisenstein, 1925) - English Intertitles - Blu-ray Quality

Rutgers University Press. Sergei Eisenstein. Crown Publishers. Nesbet, Anne 15 June O'Mahony, Mike 22 July Reaktion Books.

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