Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948) was not only one of the world's greatest film-makers; he was also one of the greatest theorists and teachers of film and one of the most original aesthetic thinkers of the twentieth century. Before the initial publication of Selected Works however, only fragmentary selections from his writings had been available in English and little had been published that made use of the wealth of material that had become available in Russian in the late Soviet period and beyond. Selected Works, now published in three paperback volumes, has revolutionised our knowledge and understanding of Eisenstein as a writer and thinker. In the period covered by this volume, which follows on from Volume 1: Writings 1922-34 and parallels Volume 2: Towards a Theory of Montage, Eisenstein's film-making ran into the difficulties generated by the Soviet authorities' increasingly restrictive definition of Socialist Realism, by the show trials and the purges, the Second World War, and the post-war proclamation of rigid cultural orthodoxy by Stalin's henchman, Andrei Zhdanov. In this volume, we experience Eisenstein's reaction to this hostile environment, as film-maker, theorist and teacher, from his public obeisance over Bezhin Meadow to his private defiance with Ivan the Terrible.
Sergei Eisenstein Selected Works