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A lot of books on Eisen; see bibliography!

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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 Communist Party. Not some French or Italian com-party, but the one, which is responsible for millions of dead and many troubles of the last century. What does it have to do with the film? A lot.
It has something to do with Marx, not Marxism. If the forgiving and foggetful history can get of historicity, we could see how radical this short German Jew was -- no wonder that he caused so many problems later. "God is dead" -- another German wrote in horror. Before him Marx took it for a fact -- God never existed!

Now, back to this Sergey-boy in beautiful city of Riga. The rejection of Christianity has everything to do with the art of cinema. "Rejection" means that you have to believe in something and denounce it. Marx did, Eisenstein did -- and I hope I did it too. In short, this communism derived from Marx made an extreme step and said that we are gods (or angels, at least) and can speak the way they do -- 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...

But do they speak this angelic language? Is there some rules, maybe a grammar? Yes, said Eisen! Oh, yes! -- he said. You can watch MTV and see for yourself that the little bold man was right. Well, this is Christ, Marx, Eisenstein, MTV and you "continuety" (historical timeframe)...
I do not want to get too "deep" into Marxism in order to explain the ontological roots of montage, but, nevertheless, the relativistic model of "self" Marx offered was based on (social?) associations. Anatoly-male, Anatoly-citizen, Anatoly-driver, Anatoly-professor -- the combination of those "links" is ANATOLY (again, montage) -- can we show it?

Not only we can, we should, we must!

EISEN. Talk about Marx, no, Riga, never mind film! ....

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I have to go back to Eisenstein's writing on film to see the physiological, not psychological effect of film for understanding the future of the Virtual Theatre. In many ways, seeing is not an observation act, but a command. When the spectator is position in the center of the screen event, he is a dramatic hero. He doesn't watch, he lives it. If vTheatre gives him active role, he ACTS. He is SpectActor! He directs -- and controls the narrative.

The identification in film (and now in vTheatre) goes beyond HERO=ME, it becomes ME=Hero...

Montage Eisenstein, Jacques Aumont, Indiana U Press, 1987 -- Good Notes and Bibliography


Русские Страницы
Look at two shots from "Potemkin" at the bottom of the page: draw two straight lines from the corners and see where they cross -- according to Eisen himself, this is the center of dramatic tention (see in Film Directing other applications of the "Golden Rule" principle for visual composition). The center must be where the opposite vectors of action meet: between the solders and the mother (Potemkin #1 shot, right above her head). The tention (or "action") center determines the next famous shot -- the effect of the next shot (CU with the bullet in her right eye is so dramatic not by itself, but because of cut and the composistion of the previous shot). Contextual analysis, dynamic composition!

Also, there is a page on visual composition in StageMatrix (theatre directing, according to Meyerhold, Eisenstein's pupil).

Fundamentals of Stage Direction
* Eisenstein * Stalin & Eisen *
This pages is overloaded, the rest on Eisenstein (link) -- and by Eisen is in Film Directing One, where he is a master-teacher.
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Montage in Russian

Eisen in Russian


"Вдруг, к пятидесяти годам, и во мне остро и мучительно возникает желание схватить и удержать ускользающее в прошлое свое потерянное время." * Memories in Russian, see Film


eisen pages @ film.vtheatre.net
goto : tarkovsky.wetpaint.com wiki
Shklovsky on Eisenstein : "Eisenstein saw the world as a fly or bee sees it, i.e. with its thousand eyes."


Most of Eisenstein is translated, but I use here and there some quotes in Russian. For myself, to think about the ideas...
Teaching, Writing, Film -- directing + theory, Webbing, 2006

Content copyright protected by Copyscape website plagiarism search

Eisenstein: "Strike just released. Preposterous. Jarring. Reckless. Too abrupt. Swarming with all sorts of premature forms that need time to grow before they can appear in a mature work."

"Attractions do not correspond to words. They are concepts, primordial concepts, linked with sensations as if inseparable from them. They are not a signal for emotion but the emotion itself." Shklovsky on Eisenstein.

new : Full script of Potemkin (script) -- on this page and in PLAYS directory.

С.М. Эйзенштейн. Мемуары. В 2-х томах

Also, in russian -- Eisenstein from moshkov library online [kino -- dir ( 7 ) Ингмар Бергман. Картины * dir( 2 ) Андрей Тарковский * dir( 4 ) Юрий Лотман * dir( 13 ) Сергей Эйзенштейн). ]

Эйзенштейн Сергей - Автобиография

and -- lib.ru/FILOSOF (source)

Eisenstein vs. Pudovkin : film acting (in Total Acting or Film Directing?)



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Eisenstein & Film directing

Eisen Happy Face animated

"Eisen" was Eisenstein's nick name. I like his thoughts on film more than his films.

To save myself and you time here is an article from Encarta 98 Encyclopedia with my comments


И безнравственны эти записки будут вовсе по другому признаку.

Они не будут морализующими.

Они не ставят себе нравственной цели или поучительного при- цела.

Они ничего не доказывают. Ничего не объясняют. Ничему не научают.

Eisenstein. Мемуары. Том первый. Wie sag' ich's meinem Kinde?! [ Москва Редакция газеты “Труд” Музей кино 1997 ]

Eisenstein, Sergey Mikhaylovich (1898-1948), Soviet motion-picture director and theorist who experimented with the intellectual and expressive possibilities of editing to create a revolutionary new form of cinema. Eisenstein was born in Rмga, Latvia, into a middle-class Jewish family. Intending to enter the professions of his father, a prominent architect and civil engineer, he enrolled in the Institute of Civil Engineering in Saint Petersburg in 1915. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, Eisenstein joined the revolutionary forces, putting his engineering talents to use building bridges. While in military service, he became attracted to the theater. He also helped decorate propaganda trains leaving for the front and produced impromptu skits for his comrades in the revolution.
Demobilized in 1920, Eisenstein enrolled in Moscow's Proletkult (short for "proletarian culture") Central Workers' Theatre, one of many experimental arts institutions supported by the Communist government to educate and indoctrinate the Russian people in the events and causes of the revolution. After an apprenticeship as a set designer at the Proletkult, Eisenstein enrolled in the School for Stage Direction under Vsevolod Meyerhold. This innovative producer advocated radical methods of acting and staging in which stylized movement and speech, rather than naturalistic acting, would convey emotion. Under Meyerhold's tutelage, Eisenstein developed what he called a "montage of attractions," a bold theory of staging that addressed the possibility of linking a series of images to evoke predetermined emotional responses from the spectator. 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 "hero" 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 "Odessa steps" 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 filmmaking 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 Lecture (1968).
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 "Soviet culture" -- 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 "Potemkin."
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 finished... Nevsky-Eisenstein
There are seven volumes of his writing published in the mid seventies. "Full Eisenstein" 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.


Eisenstein - Potemkin, script
In front of Hermitage during the filming of "October" -- 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 Soviet/Russian films.

I have several nostalgic pages mostly about my own film carrer 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 Pudovkin shooting Ivan the Terrible

Eisenstein and another great film director -- Pudovkin, rehearsing for a scene in "Ivan The Terrible"

I screened "Potemkin" in Film&Drama class next to action movies (Terminator, Speed) and the effect was obvious -- he developed the secondary motion that CAMERA became active!
Since the cuts on motion are "invisible," we compose the movement of the spectator through event, or building this event around spectator. POV got the new qualitive dimension -- moving camera is the ACTION.
The combination of primary and secondary movements are constructed on CONFLICT, the same montage idea...
Arrow AnimatedEisenstein sites

Cinema of Eisenstein: book review
Eisenstein and Expressionism

Eisen Site: check the links! Strike


Mass and depth of the screen event: not enough to decostruct the real life in order to reconstruct it on the screen -- we must "preconstruct" 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...]

Potemkin -- Cut Page
NB. If I'll have time I should place the Amazon links to Eisenstein in this new "bookstore" -- and about Eisenstein. Although, if you will go to Amazon, I made some sort of "Anatoly's Store" with my recommendations on books, videos and DVDs. Search for "Anatoly Antohin" and it should bring you to my lists. (new)

Also, check the "htmlgears" of recommended books and films (in many places on my webpages).

I know that Eisenstein is not that "easy read," 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 teenage's years of doing just that.


Philosophy of Film (POV files).

Potemkin -- third shot
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 "solder's POV"). 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 Westr Houston St.

[ ... ]

Next: Montage
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 "self-woven, self-purposeful entity," 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 human brain.

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 ot 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 About That.

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 ]
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Eisenstein vtheatre.net @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 ("camera acts"), constructivistic mise-en-scene. In fact, I think that Meyerhold was shot and Eisenstein cannonised, because the difference in media (theatre v. screen). Theatre -- traditional art (past), film -- new (future). "For us is the most important art is cinema," wrote Lenin, who understood the mass-culture effect (as Hitler discovered radio). Everything that looks "formalistic" on stage, is the lingustic forms on the screen. If you take a second look at Eisenstein, you notice that everything is "staged" -- and all that you need to examine the principles of E' staging.

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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 *

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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
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 insert.

This coalescence of theatre and film was reflected in his essay, 'The Montage of Attractions' which appeared in Lef in 1923.

soviet theatre

О себе

“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[1].
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 автор.

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