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6.9
/10
505 Ratings

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

Directed by Peter Greenaway
Netherlands, Mexico, 2015
Biography, LGBTQ+, Drama

Synopsis

In 1931, after being freshly rejected by Hollywood and under pressure to return to Stalinist Russia, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to Guanajuato, Mexico, to shoot a new film. Chaperoned by his guide Palomino Cañedo, he experiences the ties between sex and death.

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Eisenstein in Guanajuato Directed by Peter Greenaway
In uncovering montage as something more than the cut, Greenaway transforms a crucial aspect of film theory. Eros and Thanatos — homosexual Fucking and Death — release Eisenstein from the great montage “cover up.” But as things happen, one cover up leads to another. Eisenstein invariably puts on a new mask. Nonetheless, it will be difficult to return to theories of montage as nothing more than the straight cut. With Greenaway’s Eisenstein in Guanajuato, Eisensteinian montage is made to bleed.
April 15, 2016
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The film marvelously contorts our expectations, using rear projection and expanded depth of field to play visual tricks aplenty while filling each frame with pristine texture. Greenaway’s hyper-style matches his lead actor’s insanely unhinged performance, creating an artificial version of reality that somehow feels closer to the truth than any historical account.
March 15, 2016
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With Eisenstein in Guanajuato, Greenaway offers a study of one of the world’s greatest and most influential filmmakers and in the process made one of his most personal works that through flights of fictional fancy takes aim at the truth about Sergei Eisenstein during the making (and unmaking) of a project he felt about most deeply, and slipped from his grasp most precipitously: ¡Que viva México!.
February 01, 2016
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