Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (Harvest Book) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1969/6/1
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Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein, who was born in Riga in 1898, first achieved world fame with his silent film Potemkin in 1925. Although he completed only six films before his death in 1948, he is considered one of the most influential filmmakers and film theoreticians of our time.
the only reason its not five stars is that its not really an easy read, its actually quite dificult to understand.
i would have to read a page 2 or 3 times until I understood what he was trying to communicate. often having a dictionary opened beside me. its quite advanced.
but nonetheless its still worth it if your willing to use your little gray cells.
Nonetheless, it is problematic in several ways, and an understanding of the nature of its idiosyncrasies is extremely valuable. First, in an effort to "prove" his hypotheses, Eisenstein often attempts to reconcile film and physics in ways that are inappropriate and pseudo-scientific. He presents himself, in that sense, as both Eisenstein and amateur Einstein. Further, case studies are often chosen from his own work, in effect limiting the reader's freedom to disagree with his conclusions. Finally, the manner in which he expresses his thoughts is beyond elliptical. At times, it appears that one would have had to have been living in Russia at the time that these essays were written and to have been thinking about the same issues that Eisenstein was to comprehend what he is getting at. [On the other hand, for those who have had the joy of reading Wittgenstein, for example, this should be a good book to take to the beach.]
As indicated above, these problems can be explained. Communists have always had a complex relationship with the Social Darwinists. On one hand, Marxism was born out of progressive, evolutionary thinking; on the other hand, Marxists dismiss the idea of "survival of the fittest" as primitive and untenable. Soviet biologists often found themselves in the unique position of having to reconcile their theories with the party line, supported by hand selected data. In the end, of course, the value of art and science were measured by the rigid slide rule of the Communist Party. Science that did not promote its agenda was considered "anti-revolutionary."
Eisenstein is the Comrade Lysenko of cinema. He hoists high the myth of science (i.e., the systematic study of physical Truth), reduced essentially to propaganda, and borne along on the shoulders of dubious examples. The most convenient (and most incontrovertible) of these are taken from his own films, the full meanings of which belong to his own demesne. The language Eisenstein uses to construct his arguments is wisely selected: The more clearly one understands his propagandist averments and the less clearly the logic upon which they are based, the more likely one is to accept them as fact. Somewhat hypocritically, then, Eisenstein selects the voice of the intellectual elite to speak to the masses, hiding his true political intentions behind a veil of empty esotericism. Like the soothsayer, the illusionist and the ringleader, "Film Form" operates in the realm of baseless belief in which arguments gain validity relative not to WHAT they say but the WAY in which they say it. For this very reason, it is an important read... the very dogma of Bolshevik art.