The Cinema of Eisenstein is David Bordwell's comprehensive analysis of the films of Sergei Eisenstein, arguably the key figure in the entire history of film. The director of such classics as Potemkin, Ivan the Terrible, October, Strike, and Alexander Nevsky, Eisenstein theorized montage, presented Soviet realism to the world, and mastered the concept of film epic.
Discussing each film in illuminating detail, David Bordwell points out the traces of various artistic currents of the times, from Marxist modernism to Socialist Realism to Symbolist poetics, as well as the changing influence of Soviet politics. He guides us through Eisenstein's theoretical writings, including major texts that have only recently appeared in English. With close attention to the texture of the filmmaker's thought and work, Bordwell uncovers new depths of artistry and surprising new implications for the theory and history of cinema.
Comprehensive, authoritative, and illustrated with more than three hundred stills, The Cinema of Eisenstein deserves to be on the shelf of every serious student of film.
Bordwell (film studies, Univ. of Wisconsin) offers an academic piece on the work of famed Russian director Sergei Eisenstein, whose silent film Battleship Potemkim (1925) is considered by many to be the best film ever made. The book's title may be taken in its broadest sense, for it examines not only Eisenstein's movies but also his work as theorist and teacher, as well as his place in contemporary cinematic thought. While each of his films is discussed in-depth, equal space is given to the other aspects of his film career. Wisely, the author doesn't present Eisenstein as working in the vacuum of a Communist society but relates the changing Soviet artistic, philosophic, and academic theories that unquestioningly influenced his continually evolving film poetics. For academic and subject collections.-- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.