Tag Archives: Sergei Eisenstein

ALICE GUY-BLACHÉ

If Agnès Varda was the mother of the nouvelle vague, Alice Guy-Blaché (1873–1968) was the mother of cinema, period. She was an early viewer of the Lumière brothers shorts and was one of the first filmmakers of either gender to explore the narrative possibilities of the medium—influencing the work of Eisenstein and Hitchcock, to name just two. In addition to directing and producing, she founded and ran Solax Studio out of Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Not that anyone would know these things, considering how her male colleagues in the fledgling industry erased her contributions. Her husband, Herbert Blaché, took credit for Solax, and her boss, Léon Gaumont, failed to acknowledge her in the studio records. Male film historians hardly picked up the slack during Guy-Blaché’s life or since her death.

The new documentary BE NATURAL—THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHÉ—directed by Pamela B. Green and narrated by Jodie Foster—goes a long way toward righting these wrongs, and is screening in downtown Los Angeles through Thursday.

BE NATURAL—THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHÉ

Through May 23.

Downtown Independent

251 South Main Street, Los Angeles.

From top: Alice Guy-Blaché directing Bessie Love in Great Adventure (1918); Guy-Blaché directing My Madonna, with Olga Petrova and John Hass; Alice Guy-Blaché, A Fool and his Money (still), one of the first narrative films to feature an African-American cast; Alice Guy-Blaché, Scarlet Woman (still); Guy-Blaché directing My Madonna; Love (left) and Guy-Blaché. Images courtesy and © Pamela B. Green and Kino Lorber.

ALEXANDER KLUGE’S NEWS FROM IDEOLOGICAL ANTIQUITY

NEWS FROM IDEOLOGICAL ANTIQUITY—MARX/EISENSTEIN/CAPITAL—the 2008 film by filmmaker and social theorist Alexander Kluge on Sergei Eisenstein’s unrealized attempt to film Das Kapital—will screen at Human Resources in its full nine-hour length. Come and go as you please, and bring a pillow.

“The film expands in concentric circles as Kluge, his guests, interlocutors, and monologists make associative links on a range of topics that starts from a filmic discussion of Eisenstein’s notes.” — Marty Kirchner*

 

NEWS FROM IDEOLOGICAL ANTIQUITY—MARX/EISENSTEIN/CAPITAL*

Sunday, December 2, from noon to 9:30 pm.

Human Resources, 410 Cottage Home, Chinatown, Los Angeles.

Below: Alexander Kluge.

ANNETTE MICHELSON — ON THE EVE OF THE FUTURE

Art, culture, and film theorist Annette Michelson died this week in Manhattan.

In 1976 she and Rosalind Krauss co-founded October. Michelson’s first collection of essays—On the Eve of the Future—was published last year, and a new volume on Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov is forthcoming.

Annette Michelson, On the Eve of the Future: Selected Writings on Film (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/October Books, 2017).

See Rachel Churner on Michelson.

Book and periodical image credit above: MIT Press/October Books.
Annette Michelson’s bookshelves, New York City, photograph by Babette Mangolte, 1976.
Below: Michelson, circa 1966. Photograph by Peter Hujar.
Image credit: The Getty Research Institute, 2014.M.26. Gift of Annette Michelson. The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC.

EISENSTEIN IN ECHO PARK

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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.

echoparkfilmcenter.org/time-in-the-sun

Images from ¡Qué viva México!

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ROBERT LONGO IN BROOKLYN

The Brooklyn Museum exhibition PROOF—FRANCISCO GOYA, SERGEI EISENSTEIN, ROBERT LONGO brings together drawings, etchings, and film—mostly black and white—by three artists who “witnessed a turbulent transition from one era to another and the profound repercussions of revolution, war, and civil unrest. Within a broad chronological framework, PROOF traces the historical lineage of a visual language and artistic impulse.”*

PROOF was initiated by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, and curated by their chief curator Kate Fowle, in collaboration with Robert Longo. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is organized by Sara Softness, their assistant curator of special projects.

 

PROOF—FRANCISCO GOYA, SERGEI EISENSTEIN, ROBERT LONGO, through January 7.

BROOKLYN MUSEUM, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.

brooklynmuseum.org/goya_eisenstein_longo

Robert Longo, Untitled (Black Pussy Hat in Women’s March), 2017 (detail), charcoal on mounted paper 152.4 x 270.8 cm.
© Robert Longo, courtesy the artist, Metro Pictures, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.

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