Born this day in 1898, Sergei Eisenstein was a Soviet artist and avantgarde director of several groundbreaking films, including Battleship Potemkin, Strike, and The General Line.
Known as the father of montage — the film technique of editing a fast-paced sequence of short shots to transcend time or suggest thematic juxtapositions — Eisenstein deployed arresting images in sequences of psychological precision. His films were also revolutionary in another sense, as he often depicted the struggle of downtrodden workers against the ruling class.
Today, we celebrate his 120th birthday with a tribute to his pioneering technique. Happy birthday, Sergei Eisenstein!
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In 1969, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas decided to open the world’s first museum devoted to film. Of course, a typical museum hangs its collections of artwork on the wall for visitors to walk up to and study. However, a film museum needs special considerations on how — and what, of course — to present its collection to the public.
Thus, for this film museum, first a film selection committee was formed that included James Broughton, Ken Kelman, Peter Kubelka, Jonas Mekas and P. Adams Sitney, plus, for a time, Stan Brakhage. This committee met over the course of several months to decide exactly what films would be collected and how they would be shown. The final selection of films would come to be called the The Essential Cinema Repertory.
The Essential Cinema Collection that the committee came up with consisted of about 330 films.
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