Eisenstein Volume 1 in August
Tartan Video have announced the UK DVD release of Sergei Eisenstein Volume 1 on 13th August 2007 priced at £29.99. Russian-born Sergei Eisenstein is one of the masterful auteurs of the silent era and one of the most unique voices in cinema. He invented much of the visual language used by directors today. Having trained as an architect and theatre designer, he moved into film combining narrative with aesthetics, choosing events and people from Russian history. Courted by Hollywood and criticized by Stalin, he also spent much time in Mexico on an obsessive epic which was never completed before dying at the young age of 40. Tartan Video is set to celebrate his career in three box-sets in the 90th year since the Russian Revolution.
Volume 1 includes three films:
Taking an historical event from 1912, Eistenstein applies the new Soviet propaganda ideals of the heroic worker with his own theories of avant garde art. Following the suicide of a sacked factory worker, his colleagues hold a peaceful strike, but their bosses retaliate with savage force. He captured the brutality with power and immediacy, moving from the slaughter of cattle to the butchery of the Cossack army. He simultaneously invents and breaks cinematic rules.
This includes both the original soundtrack and a new score by Ed Hughes and performed by the New Music Players
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Possibly one of the most influential films of all time even, it was initially banned in Britain and Nazi Germany as well as falling foul of Stalin. Again, Eisenstein selects a dramatic moment from the pre- Revolution days of the Tsar. The Russian navy, treated with contempt by their superiors and working under abusive conditions, decide to stage a mutiny. Their actions are supported by the people of Odessa with tragic consequences. A powerful series of montages and images unfolds over five episodes leading up to the fictional but legendary Odessa steps sequence which has been mimicked in films as diverse as The Untouchables, Naked Gun 33 1/3 and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith .
This includes both original soundtrack and a new score by Ed Hughes and performed by the New Music Players.
October (aka Ten Days That Shook The World) (1927)
With art being used by the Soviet state for propaganda, Eisenstein was commissioned by the authorities to celebrate the tenth anniversary of 1917's October Revolution. However, he tells the events not by traditional narrative but through experiments in editing and camera angles, also managing to link religious leaders with pagan idols and the army. It won international praise, except back home where he was accused of not using the language of the masses. The title is taken from John Reed's book who was also the subject of Warren Beatty's epic bio-pic, Reds.
Original soundtrack only.
All films are presented in their original 1.33:1 Full Frame. DVD extras includes: behind the scenes footage of Ed Hughes recording new soundtracks.
All features are subject to change.
Future Eisenstein sets due sometime this Autumn from Tartan...
Vol 2 - Alexander Nevsky; Bazhin Meadows; Ivan the Terrible (Pts 1 & 2)
Vol 3 - Time In The Sun; Que Viva Mexico!; Mexican Fantasy