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November 01, 1967 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-11-01

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Cinema Guild Hosts Eisenstein Festival

Unquestionably, Sergei Eisen-
stein was a master of film, and
one of the greatest, most unique
and influential directors of all
time. Though all of his major
films were commissioned by the
Russian government, they are un-
doubtedly "directors' films."
The Eisenstein films are great
pageants depicting modern Rus-
sia and' its heritage. Individuals,'
as in "Alexander Nevsky," are,
legends; the Russian people, as
in "Old and New," are a force.
The means of this transformationj
is decoration a n d ceremony,j
mammoth and hollow settings,
and tightly controlled lighting.j
Cinema Guild and the Center
for Russian and' Eastern Eur-
opean Studies began yesteray toI
show "A Retrospective Festival",
of Eisenstein's works, a presen-
tation, of six of his films. The,
films are described below in ex-
erpts from a booklet for the fes-
tival written. by Michael Stern,
'6f and Phil Balla, '69.
-** *
Stylization is the hallmark of
.N "iI in~~~~~n M '{A Ht' 1 - Tk Y

"Old and New" the film features
the same "associational montage"
used in "October." Eisenstein con-
sidered his new project a great
step forward in cinema technique.
In fact, the film does contain the
seeds of ideas that were to blos-
som fully in his later master-
pieces, "Alexander Nevsky" and
"Ivan the Terrible." For the first
time Eisenstein concerned himself
with a personality, the peasant,j
Marfa Lapfina.
(Eisenstein, normally interested
in the "mass" as hero, would
chose his characters off the street
as they corresponded to the type
he wanted. Hence a street cleaner
played the famous ship captain
in "Potemkin" and the director
himself played the priest - Mar-
fa Lapfina was chosen out of 500
The religious procession in "Old
and New" illustrates a theme with
which Eisenstein was obsessed and1
which reappears, in a far more
congenial context, in "Ivan the
Terrible" and "Alexander Nevsky."
It is the theme of religious ecs-
tasy, of mystical exhultation, of
ceremony and richly bejeweled

ail Eisensteins films. The moststylization.
well-known element of his stylei
is his theory of montage, and the The "cream separator" sequence,
most exciting use of montage oc- in "Old and New" also demon-
curs in his second feature film, strates Eisenstein's concern with
"Potemkin" ( 1925) . Montage creative ecstasy. This section, how-

playing the role of Alexander
The harshly anti-German tone
of the film is, of course, due to
the fact that it was made in 1939
as an effort to rally the Russian
people against their traditional
Teutonic enemies. Stalin, buying
time, had just sigened a pact with
It was Eisenstein's first com-
pleted film since "Old and New"
of 1929. In one decade Eisenstein
had made the leap from a formal-
istic intellectual film to a spec-
tacular pageant-opera. Of course,
much of this change was due to
the government pressure applied
during the filming of "Alexander
Nevsky." Nonetheless, this spec-
tacular is all Eisenstein.
Pressured into making a film
sure to be a popular success,
Eisenstein was still free to use
the heavy stylization that seem-
ed so out of place in a film about
collective farming ("Old and
New") Since "Alexander Nevsky"
is a film about a legend and since
it involves monumental historical
events, Eisenstein's richly con-
structed "anti-naturalism" was
perfectly suited to the task.
In "Old and New" the theme
was commonplace and the heavy
style, therefore, seemed out of
place. In "Alexander Nevsky" the
pageant-like construction of the
film serves to enrich and em-
broider the legendary subject.
It is often argued that "Alex-
ander Nevsky," like the later
"Ivan the Terrible" was a sell-
out, a submission to the govern-
went and a disavowal of Eisen-t
stein's cinematic principles. Such
argument, however, judges the'
circumstances rather than the
film itself.
The battle 'on the ice scene, in<
which the Teutonic Knights are1
driven across the cracking ice, is,I
as the Odessa steps scene in "Po-I
temkin," Eisenstein at the heightl
of cinematic brillance.
Filmed on a hot day in July,
this "winter scene" features 30,-I
000 square meters of fake ice
made from asphalt, water glass,
white sand and chalk.1
The spectacular power of thel
scene, Eisenstein claimed, was in-
spired by Milton and the "audio-
visual distribution of images in
his sound montage . ."Paradise
Lost" itself is a first rate school1
in which to study montage and
audio-visual relationships." And,
in fact, aren't the Teutonic
Knights simply a paranoiac Rus-
sian view of "the banded PowersF
of Satan hasting on/with furious'
Ivan the Terrible
"Ivan the Terrible," Eisenstein's
most monumental film project,t
was made during the second world
war, when Russian was in des-
perate' need of domestic prop-
aganda. It was filmed at the
Mosfilm studios in Alma-Ata be-
cause of the Nazi approach to

When listening to records, you
may naturally separate the voice
from the singer and thus idealize.
it as the pure line of expressive
music. In the concert hall, it is
hard to avoid the physical pre-.
sence of the singer, a visual factor
which often makes it difficult to
concentrate upon and be engros-
sed in the songs themselves.
Of course you can always close
your eyes, but when the singerr
happens to be Christa Ludwig,
as it was last night in Hill Audi-
torium, you are certainly loathe
to do so. With a figure, face and
very jaunty walk, Miss Ludwig
makes you wonder why Walter
Berry allows her to leave his side.
Her gestures are dramatic andy
meaningful, and bywatching her'
expression, many clues to a song's
literary subtleties can be learned.l
I make these three points not
merely to pad, but to allude toj
the general tenor of last night'sl
concert. Miss Ludwig, the most
accomplished mezzo - soprano
singing today, delivered an ex-
quisitely sung program that was'

Lieder" by Hugo Wolf. Wolf,
achieved a subtlety of word-music
coherence that is quite unique in
the history of song writing. Miss
Ludwig's reading of the erotic
"Nimmersatte Liebe" was given
with an ear to its ironic shadings;
her portrayal of religious paranoid
in "Wo Find Ich Trost" was truly

Other than the Wolf, the high-
light of a recital which also in-
cluded Strauss, Brahms, and
Mahler, was an emotive rendering
of Schumann's "Frauenliebe und
The veteran Erik Werba accom-
panied M i s s Ludwig in a
thoroughly sympathic and never
self-effacing manner.


Trip Through the Ages
With Paradise Children

"For the benefit of . .
Oh, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti,
Dexter ...
"There will be a show
tonight ..."
At Canterbury House at 8:00.
But it's not a show really, it's an
All Saints Day Happening or "A
Trip Through the Ages," followed
by a concert and dance featuring
"The Children of Paradise."
"The Hendersons will all
be there . "

Kaz, organ and harmonica, Jerry
Angus, drums and Steve Soles,
rhythm guitar. They compose and
arrange their own songs.
The Children (comng from De-
troit's Chessmate and going to
the Cheetah in Chicago) were
born rather quietly. As Artie
Traum explains it: "One day in
Woodstock, N.Y. (how can I for-
get that day, on the porch of a
lonely gray house in the fertile
valley of the Hudson); Eric and
Marc came by. with theirbass and

- music
Sparkling Ludwig Performs
Aa Exquisitely Sung Progr tm'


Eisenstein s Ivan the Terrible

In addition to Nikolai Cher- I stein back full circle to the bio-
kassov as Ivan, the film features, mechanical theater of his youth.
in the part of Nikolai the Great The characters in "Ivan the
Simpleton, V s e 1 v o d Pudovkin. Terrible" are human machines
Orginally planned as two films, rather than human beings. Ex-
the movie was broken into three pression comes through body
parts when "The Boyars' Plot," contortions and archaic speech,
originally just single episode in through shadows and bizarre
Part two, grew to feature length. sounds, through decoration, arti-
The filming of the first two fice and exquisite ceremony.
parts overlapped and, in fact, The awesomeness of "Ivan the
much of the Prologue in Part two Terrible" results from its totally
(Ivan's childhood) was originally externalized and hence almost in-
at the beginning of Part one. human expression. Psychological
Eisenstein died before completing "understanding" or internal com-
Part three. prehension and its consequent na-
Eisenstein spent over five years turalism, so hateful to the young
working on "Ivan the Terrible," Eisenstein of the 1920's, had been
after which he died of a heart purged almost completely from his
attack and his star, Nikolai Cher- last film.
kassov suffered a temporary men- - -
tal and physical breakdown. Just
as Eisenstein and Cherkassov
worked excruciatingly hard creat-
ing "Ivan the Terrible," it is an
excruciating movie to watch.
Every composition, every ges-
ture, every word and note of music 1421 Hill Street
contains the awesome tension of
a huge spring about to snap shut.
The synchronized awkwardness of THURSDAY-Donald Bagl
gesture and forced unnaturalness
of speech that gives "Ivan the from Detroit) speaking on
Terrible" such a heavily perverse Emerging Black Attitude,"
air seems to have brought Eisen- incfolkandcountry blues


more exciting for its dramatic But so will the staff of Canter- harmonica and we playedf
presentation and more awesome bury House and Robert Sheff, sang.
for its technical perfection than it Billy C, Herb David, the Madri- "Oh, to think in those surrou
was transportive in a sense of gal Singers, and countless others ings was born this band, '
truly releasing the listener. who, while not promising to jump Children of Paradise.'"
. . through "a hogshead of real fire," Drummer Jerry Angus (he s
This is not a criticism, but a will provide music, read (Luther's Dr mrJryAnu(h
comment on the nature of Miss All poide m r (Luded) the whole thing started with
Ludwig's voice. It is a thoroughly l Saints Sermon is included), mother who "sang to me thro'
trained, perfectly-graded, aristo- show slides and films,l certainly be the long perditious winter eve
cratic instrument. In forte pas- henwd wlKeeainlywdeycan read and write music and e
sages there is always a sense of challenged by Keewatin Dewdney knows a few words of Ser
reserve, and from the lowestt who will show excerpts from a Croation.
th ihs oe h oc ofilm-theatre event, "The Light Bassist Marc Silber (form(
the highest note, the voice is Brigade." And second to none, Ba sac ibrfr
pure, round, and sweet. What her 'her " As econdy'o none, of "The New York Public
mezzo voice does lack, however, there is Jaemes Whitney's psyche- brary") is really a blues man:
is a feeling of sincere melan- de film, Lapis." couldn't care if it's white, bl
cholia. "thing"d begins" whenei or pink ... that's how muc
sogthe"tig is over. The Chl- love blues."
In essentially tragic ' songs, dren," brought to Ann Arbor by
therefore, Miss Ludwig cannot the Dramatic Arts Center, in- "Having been some dayP
rely on any inherent "soul" in her elude two former University stu- in preparation
voice, but must convince the lis- dents: Larry Leitch, musical di- A splendid time is
tenser through perfected dramatic ,rector and a former member of guaranteed for all
fusion of words and music. She the ONCE group and Marc Sil- And tonight Mr. Kite
accomplishes this magnificently. ber, bass player. is topping the bill-.."
Her skill was especially apparent Others in the group include That is, the whole thing is
in three songs from the "Moerike Artie Traum, lead guitar, Eric i FREE.

: "I
h i

Eisenstein in Potemkin

means, simply, the manner in
which the director orders his
shots, the principle that guides
him in placing one shot after
another, and in having one scene
precede the next. Eisenstein's
montage theory, derived from the
Hegelian-Marxian dialectic, treats
two shots as thesis and antithesis.
Their inter-relationship on the
screen creates a synthesis.
"Potemkin" was originally in-
tended to be only one of eight
episodes in a larger project,
"1905," which was commissioned
to celebrate the twentieth an-
niversary .of the .1905 revolution.
It instead grew .into a .feature
Eisenstein interrupted work on
his third'p film "The. General
Line" in order to work on a film
commorating t h e tenth 'an-
niversary of the revolution. He
was given the colossal sum of
500,000vrubles to make "October"
(also called "Ten Days that Shook
the World," after John Reed's
With all of Leningrad at his
d i s p o s a 1, Eisenstein rushed!
through production of "October"
in order to prepare it in time for
the gala anniversary celebration.
While the montage of "Potem-
kin" is based on visual principles
such as -movement or shape,
"October" often employs "assoc-
iational montage," in which con-
nections between shots are made
intellectually by the viewer.
Whereas in "Potemkin" ideas
arose directly Iirom the film's vis-
ual artifice, the montage of "Octo-
ber" grafts images onto Eisen-
stein's preconceived ideas.
The contrast of the Odessa steps
scene of "Potemkin"' and the
scene of Kerensky ascending the
steps in "October" illustrates the
the shift in Eisenstein's technique
from emotional and visual to es-
sentially intellectual montage.
Old and New
After the release of "October"
Eisentein again began work on
?The General Line." Renamed

ever, is far more sexual than it
is religious - or, at least, the dif-
ference is a matter of controversy.
Relased in 1929, "Old and New"
was banned in much of Europe.
In Russia it was recived cooly
with the complaint that, unlike
"Potemkin" or even "October,"
it was simply too intellectual. The
masses could not understand
Eisenstein's highly refined as-
sociation or overtonal montage.
The New York Times said that
the film was "a trifle tedious."
Alexander Nevsky
"Alexander Nevsky" was made
under the strictest government
supervision. Unlike his earlier
films, it features professional





8:30 P.M.

ey (Community Organizer
"The Detroit Riot and the
with his wife Phillis sing-
plaving the guitar


actors, with Nikolai Cherkassov,
Russia's most prominent actor, p
To Investigate SPECIAL SC
Thai ProjectI
(Coutinued from Page 1)
appropriate that when the com- MAT!
munity gets disturbed about some- EV
thing an independent g r o u p
should take a look at it," Norman NO S
observed. - Every Ticket
Elderfield was .out of town and
not available for comment.
Prof. Alan B. Macnee of the
electrical engineering department,
acting chairman of the research
policy committee, indicated that
the committee hoped to report to
the University Assembly at its
next meeting. "Our report will in-
clude a statement of facts and,
depending on what we find, ap-
propriate recommendations," Mac-
nee said.
He predicted that the commit- AR
tee would research "the whole STI
problem of clasified research theClt
rest of this term and maybe next IHa
Portman was not available for j[
comment. Zander told The Daily, CAIDICE Of
"I'll just say that we're going to
get all the information we can
from whatever source we can. I I
don't want to talk about it at all."
Neither Portman nor Zander
participated in the committee'sO
review of procedures relating to
classified projects last year.

NEES 1.20 - 4:50
I Holder Guaranteed A Seat
NO 2-6264

-N.Y. News

- , I" I- ..
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY-Christopher and Sara
returning by popular demand to sing Contemporary
and ORIGINAL folk music.
I 375 No. MAP LE RD.-769.1300 3:10-4:55-6:40-
MGM presents
AJudd Bernard-
Irwin Winkler Production


costarringANGlE LMNOLIr forMatuee
In Panavisionosand Metrocolor 0 MGM



As we were saying, Shelby . .
We're having an

DIAL 8-6416

All Saints Happening
(A Trip Through the Ages) at
(?7ID~14R~fR JfOUS


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