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Sergei Eisenstein Mexican Fantasy
Sergei Eisenstein Mexican Fantasy
Actors: Alexandra Scheff, Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Martín Hernández, David Liceága
Director: Oleg Kovalov
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
UR     2001     1hr 39min

In 1930, legendary film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin, October) arrived in Mexico to make "Que Viva Mexico," a film about the struggles, triumphs and tragedies of this unexpectedly rich and diverse country...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Alexandra Scheff, Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Martín Hernández, David Liceága
Director: Oleg Kovalov
Creators: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Eduard Tisse, Oleg Kovalov, Hunter S. Kimbrough, Kate Crane Gartz, Mary Craig Sinclair, Otto Kahn, S. Hillkowitz, Sergei Selyanov, Upton Sinclair, Vladimir Khaunin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, History
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/10/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1998
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 39min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Russian
Subtitles: English

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Que Viva Mexico
Directors: Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei M. Eisenstein
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Movie Reviews

Strikingly beautiful
R. Scharba | Chicago, IL USA | 05/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just watched this compilation of footage shot in Mexico around 1930 by Eisenstein, and I was completely unprepared for the striking quality of these images, some of the most beautiful black and white cinematography I've seen. As I understand it, this footage, which Eisenstein was compelled to abandon, has been compiled and edited into a sort of travelogue by the Oleg Kovalov, who gets director credit for this film. This is a travelogue in a more old-fashioned sense - not a survey of resorts, hotels, casinos and airports, but an impression of the time, place, people and atmosphere of old Mexico. It has been edited per notes left by Eisenstein, along with a degree of interpretation guided by Kovalov's knowledge of Eisenstein's style and intentions. However far it might have strayed from those original intentions, it is a remarkably beautiful film in its own right.Early on in the film, the compositions look like Gaugin paintings come to life, as the provincial Mexicans strike the iconic poses that Eisenstein set up, surrounded by tropical foliage. In one particular shot, two young woman hold their pose under some palm leaves, but the one on the left repeatedly breaks into giggles, possibly over the strange attitude that the crazy Russian has asked her to hold. Really charming. Many of the scenes with the local people are moody, or even a bit spooky, some involving symbols of death. Others are more festive, but still with a dark quality to them. A Russian is a Russian, I guess.A stereo soundtrack has been added which consists of various ethnic music (not just Mexican), more modern, avant-garde music, and ambient sounds and sound effects that are so apt and well-timed to the film, they give you an eerie sense of being there. This is one of the best things I've seen in a long time, and I can't recommend it highly enough."