In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Taiwanese School: The Experiment of Sergei Eisenstein's Montage Theory is a film featuring Sergei Eisenstein's montage art and revolutionary spirit, 'unification of society' as its theme. ... See full summary »
In 1547, Ivan IV (1530-1584), archduke of Moscow, crowns himself Tsar of Russia and sets about reclaiming lost Russian territory. In scenes of his coronation, his wedding to Anastasia, his campaign against the Tartars in Kazan, his illness when all think he will die, recovery, campaigns in the Baltic and Crimea, self-imposed exile in Alexandrov, and the petition of Muscovites that he return, his enemies among the boyars threaten his success. Chief among them are his aunt, who wants to advance the fortunes of her son, a simpleton, and Kurbsky, a warrior prince who wants both power and the hand of Anastasia. Ivan deftly plays to the people to consolidate his power. Written by
At the beginning of the color dancing sequence, the many dances jump and fall in front of the Tsar. At the end of this sequence, one of the falling dancers pushes the wig off the head of Vladimir, as he lays on the floor apparently in a drunken state. See more »
A masterpiece of world cinema. It really is! I go against the tide and prefer Ivan I to Ivan II. Here is a fascinating look at how Ivan overcomes the boyars, loses his best friend to his wife and loses his wife to the treachery that transforms him into The Terrible, played out in spooky places where, as Kael says, people slide in and out of the walls like giant spiders.
You need -- indeed, will want -- to watch this one more than once. At first you may indeed find the wide-eyed faces a bit comical, but the more you watch the more you appreciate Eisenstein's view that everybody in Ivan's court is a bit mad.
The context of this production is the same as that of Olivier's Henry V: Russia and England were fighting for their lives, and these movies were meant to stir their audiences with patriotic fervor. Both construct scenes as grand tableaux, Henry V like medieval paintings, Ivan like grand opera or Kabuki.
In fact, a real treat is to watch the Criterion version of both, Henry V in its sumptuousness, Ivan in its stark grandeur. Contrast the respective British and the Russian approaches to myth-making on behalf of their Great Patriotic Wars. Compare endings. I find the English the more lyrical, the Russian the more powerful. What do you think?
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