to the panoply of groaning tables, laden with rich food
and drink, in the series of late 1930s kolkhoz musicals
by Ivan Pyriev - a Stalinist version of the 'Potemkin villages'
originally created to disguise Russia's rural misery from
Catherine the Great. Eisenstein would contribute an historical
dimension to this bucolic image in his Alexander Nevsky,
with its bustling Novgorod market scenes.
1938 film masterpiece, with music by Sergei Prokofiev, is a
unique phenomenon in film and music history. The authentically
restored version of Prokofiev's brilliant orchestral and vocal
score, combined with new prints of the film from the original
nitrate negative in the Moscow Film Archives, rejuvenated
dialogue and sound effects, a system for synchronizing the
orchestra and screen. Newly translated subtitles reveal this
work to be one of filmmaker's towering achievements and an
extraordinary concert experience.
This classic Sergei Eisenstein tale of 13th century Russia is an
unique film of unequalled excellence. It is considered to be
one of the greatest achievements of Soviet and world cinema
artistry. The story centres around the tumultuous time when
the Russians were invaded by Teutonic knights on one front and
Tartars on the other. The morale of the Russian people was at
its lowest ebb until a brave and extremely wise noblemen, Prince
Nevsky is summoned to lead his people in their fierce struggle
against the oppressors.
Eisenstein had the entire Russian army at his disposal, and the
battle scenes, complete with thousands of men, are spectacular.
His meticulous attention to detail is unbelievably exact.
Although less experimental stylistically than his previous
works, the film has what Eisenstein himself called a "symphonic
structure" because of his great collaboration with composer
Sergei Prokofiev. The result is a patriotic pageantry of
stirring images and dramatic music, particularly in the
Battle of the Ice sequence, which even today remains unsurpassed
in the history of cinema.