Google Doodle: Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s 120th birth anniversary
ogle’s finds a needle in the haystack for you yet again with Russian avant-garde filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein featuring as today’s doodle on his 120th birth anniversary. Eisenstein, who was also called the father of montage, was born in 22, 1898, and died on February 11, 1948. His revolutionary style of filmmaking is reflected in his movies Strike, Battleship Potemkin and October.
His movies were famous for his politically charged themes, bold narrative style, and use of music, theatrical cinematography and editing. He was also a film theorist who developed, what he called, ‘methods of montage’, which he divided into five categories – metric, rhythmic, tonal, overtonal and intellectual.
Eisenstein was born in Latvia and just like father, Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein, took up architecture and engineering. He left his studies to join the Red Army in the Bolshevik Revolution and got interested in theatre. Thereon, he worked as a designer in Moscow.
A closer look at the Doodle's film strip.
Initially, Eisenstein worked as a theorist and later, released his first silent feature-film Strike in 1923. The premise of the movie was a protest of workers at a factory in pre-Communist Russia. His other movies were such as Battleship Potemkin and The General Line draw heavily from communist theories. Eisenstein was of the opinion that editing not merely a tool to develop a movie but can also be used to manipulate the viewer’s emotion and create ‘film metaphors’. A heavy user of montage, the maker believed that the technique of quick short shots can be used to suggest time changes and thematic juxtapositions.
Though a celebrated filmmaker in the west, Eisenstein was criticised by Soviet film fraternity for his camera angles, crowd movements, and montage, who made him publish articles of self-criticism.While describing his films, Google said, “His films were also revolutionary in another sense, as he often depicted the struggle of downtrodden workers against the ruling class.”