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The Director's Idea by Ken Dancyger

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Chapter 9

Sergei Eisenstein: The Historical Dialectic

Introduction

Sergei Eisenstein, together with his colleagues Vassili Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov, and Alexander Dovshenko, revolutionized film directing. Building on the work of D.W. Griffith, each set out on a different path for creating films, but each did so out of a conviction that the power of film should be harnessed for a public purpose—to change society. Each of these directors had a different aesthetic. Pudovkin embraced the theatrical, Vertov embraced the documentary in its most orthodox form, and Dovshenko embraced the poetic. To say that Eisenstein saw film as architecture or as graphic design or as a new malleable medium arising out of literature is too limiting. Eisenstein, like Griffith ...

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