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 Sergei Eisenstein

Born:   22 January 1898
Deceased:   11 February 1948

film director


Eisenstein is considered among the most influential directors in the history of motion pictures. His films include Potemkin (1925) and Alexander Nevsky (1938), his first sound film.

Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein was a well-known Soviet film director and a theorist of art. The boy was born into the family of an engineer and an architect and received solid and all-round education at his home and in non-classical secondary school; he knew the basics of West European languages, was well versed in Russian and world literature, and fond of theater and painting. In 1915 he entered the Civil Engineers Institute in Petrograd (Petersburg). He accepted the October Revolution of 1917 and joined a student unit of national militia. In 1918 he left the 3rd year of institute studies to volunteer to the Red Army and participated in defense of Petrograd. At the same time he worked as a poster artist and staged amateur “agitprop” drama plays. In 1920 he was sent to study at the Oriental Languages Department in the General Staff Academy, but he never became a military translator. Instead, dreaming of becoming the founder of new revolutionary art, he joined the Proletkult Theater. Having seen in cinema inexhaustible new possibilities of art, Eisenstein soon created his first real film The Strike, where he showed his mastery of metaphor, editing, and rhythm.

In 1925 Eisenstein directed The Battleship Potemkin that made a triumph on world screens. This film became a classic of the new motion picture art. While creating the films October (aka Ten Days That Shook The World), The General Line (aka Old and New), etc., Eisenstein developed a theory of "intellectual cinema", according to which development of film language made it possible for viewers to get not only figurative, but also scientific concepts. Eisenstein predicted technical future of the sound cinema. In 1929 - 1931 he stayed in the Western Europe and the USA, where he wrote scripts for Hollywood films, unfortunately, never were produced, and then returned home. In 1938 he directed the film Alexander Nevsky , which took numerous awards (including the Stalin Award in 1941), but was removed from screens at the end of 1939, when the Minister for Foreign Affairs of fascist Germany I. Ribbentrop arrived in Moscow. In 1941-1945 the director was filming Ivan The Terrible .

Sergei Eisenstein died of a heart attack on the night of 10th to 11th February 1948, while working on the article Color cinema. He was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery (Plot 4) in Moscow.

Tags: Sergei Eisenstein Russian cinema Russian film directors   

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