Ivan The Terrible: Two Parts Stoli, One Part Kabuki, Stir And Pour


I finally got around to watching Ivan The Terrible (both parts, natch) recently. I’m not sure why I put it off so long. I suppose I’d been just a bit disappointed with my previous Eisenstein experiences. Battleship Potemkin, despite all it’s qualities, never really reached me. Alexander Nevsky I liked – it has wonderful images, wonderful passages, but it seems a little too simple and the famous battle on ice was a damp squib. And neither of them take up three hours of your time, which is what you face with Ivan.

Ivan though – now this is the business! I invite you to check out the great writeup of it Matthew Dessem did at The Criterion Contraption. There’s no way I’ll match his insight and eloquence, and I think the film and Eisenstein in general strike us very much the same way. Naturally, this makes him a very smart man.

I’ll add only two observations – for someone who is famous first and foremost for his advances in film editing, I find by far the most stunning, special achievements are Eisenstein’s static images. Some of the greatest compositions ever.

Also, there’s this:











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