Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sergei Eisenstein's Sexuality

Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein, director of The Battleship Potemkin (1925) and originator of the strategic dialectical montage, spent some time in Mexico filming for a never completed film called ¡Que Viva Mexico! It was meant to depict the struggle of the Mexican Revolution (1910) and simultaneously articulates a critique of the corruption issue from the institutionalization of the Revolution. Eisenstein encountered in Mexico and Mexican culture "the outspreading of my innermost," and simultaneously the place where he had his first homosexual encounter, which rid him of a ten year "complex."

Upton Sinclair (an important "realist" American novelist) and his wife funded the filming and because Eisenstein lacked a sense of budget he continued to outstrip his resources. Reflecting back on the issue Sinclair claimed in 1950, "All [Eisenstein's] associates were Trotskyites, and all homos".

According the really informative article by Tony Wood (writing for the London Review of Books) the film was never completed by Eisenstein who only saw the rushes and several approximations made of a film with his footage.

Here is a demonstration of Dialectical Montage for those not "in the know:"

Kuleshov Effect - Eisenstein Montage from Filmstudies_DaVega on Vimeo.

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