The venerated filmmaker Eisenstein is comparable in talent, insight and wisdom, with the likes of Shakespeare or Beethoven; there are few - if any - directors who can be elevated to such ... See full summary »
Filmic insert to Eisenstein's modernized, free adaptation of Ostrovskiy's 19th-century Russian stage play, "The Wise Man" ("Na vsyakogo mudretsa dovolno prostoty"). The anti-hero Glumov ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Sergei M. Eisenstein
How do things result when we apply Russian ideas to Mexico?
If you know about Sergei Eisenstein's "Que Viva Mexico! - Da zdravstvuyet Meksika!", you probably know that Eisenstein ran out of money and left the movie incomplete, so collaborator Grigoriy Aleksandrov organized the footage as close to how Eisenstein envisioned it. I personally thought that it was a fascinating movie, but one of many films where they throw so much at you that it's really hard to digest.
Knowing that Eisenstein met with the execs at Paramount Pictures but didn't see eye to eye with them, I get the feeling that he may have made this movie in part to indict US involvement in Latin America. As we Americans were supposed to view our southern neighbor as the land of sombreros and senoritas, he wanted to show that there was a more serious-intellectual side, and of course the indigenous aspect.
In my opinion, the combination of the Day of the Dead sequence and the rebellion at the end really constitute the movie's strength, sort of like the rebellion in "Battleship Potemkin". Much of the rest of the film consists of very exaggerated facial expressions (the Russians love those, don't they?). But either way, I still recommend the movie as an important installation in cinematic history, exactly the sort of thing to show in film classes. If anything surprised me, it was that they were allowed to show nudity; I always sort of assume that no major movie in any country was allowed to back then (but don't get me wrong: some of those women were really hot!).
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