A 16mm print of TIME IN THE SUN (1939)—an hour-long version of Sergei Eisenstein and Grigoriy Aleksandrov’s unfinished ¡Qué viva México! (1932), assembled by Eisenstein biographer Marie Seton, supposedly following Eisenstein’s rough outline—will screen this weekend at the Echo Park Film Center.
“Eisenstein had come to America in 1930 hoping to make a film in Hollywood. When those plans fell through, he undertook, with financing from novelist Upton Sinclair, a mammoth, extravagant cinematic portrait of Mexico’s rich history, peoples, and traditions. Based on the eternal cycles of birth and death, and inspired by the epic murals of Diego Riviera and other Mexican artists, ¡Qué viva México! was to be structured in six parts, moving in history from pre-Columbian times to contemporary Day of the Dead celebrations. Eisenstein reportedly shot some fifty hours of footage; with expenses and misunderstandings mounting, Sinclair shut down the production. Eisenstein returned to the USSR and never again had access to the footage; Sinclair, the legal owner, parcelled it out to various film projects, including Seton’s, over the years.”*
TIME IN THE SUN, Saturday, April 7, at 8 pm.
ECHO PARK FILM CENTER, 1200 North Alvarado, Los Angeles.
Images from ¡Qué viva México!