Eisenstein Rediscovered

By Ian Christie; Richard Taylor | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Eisenstein's early films abroad 1

Kristin Thompson


INTRODUCTION

The circulation of Eisenstein's early films outside the Soviet Union is an important issue for at least two reasons. First, we would like to be able to gauge the conditions which allowed his films to influence other filmmakers. Second, the success that greeted Potemkin in particular seems to have had a significant impact on Soviet production practice, and almost certainly it made the radical montage style more acceptable to officials there.

I shall concentrate here on the 1920s, and particularly on Potemkin's impact in Germany and the USA; these were the most important foreign markets in which Eisenstein's films were given relatively successful commercial releases, and in both cases Potemkin paved the way for subsequent imports of Soviet films.

The standard account of Potemkin's early career claims that only after the film became an enormous hit in Berlin did Soviet audiences become interested in it. 2 One thing I hope to do here is put its German success into some perspective and briefly suggest what impact it may have had on Soviet film-making policy. In looking at Potemkin's American career, historians have concentrated on the New York première and the film's censorship problems. I shall try to flesh out such accounts by looking at how the film entered the growing art cinema market in America and played successfully in smaller American cities. Finally, I shall conclude with a very brief set of examples suggesting that Eisenstein's early films quickly became classics, being revived in a variety of situations, running from art cinemas to 16mm screenings by leftist workers' groups.

My focus is thus selective, but I hope to suggest at least one general conceptual point. From our modern perspective, historians often tend to create a split between commercial films and avant-garde films, with the assumption that avant-garde films tend not to be popular successes. Yet the 1920s was a decade during which the alternative institutions of the art cinema were just beginning to be created. To a surprising degree,

-53-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Eisenstein Rediscovered
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 260

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.