Saturday, November 28, 2015

Que Viva Eisenstein!

Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015) - Greenaway
 photo 75637d1a-a804-44fc-a83c-a083176a4efa_zps239tsysw.png
Greenaway depicts Eisenstein's unsuccessful stint in Guanajuato, Mexico, famous for its mummies in El Museo De Las Momias which were featured in the opening sequence of Herzog's Nosferatu. For wide-eyed, clownish Soviet filmmaker (Elmer Bäck) of such films as Battleship Potemkin and October (Ten Days that Shook the World), who just had a bad experience in Hollywood, is seen driving down to Mexico with his small crew, while Upton Sinclair and uncle Lenin bankrolling the money for his Mexican project, Que Viva Mexico! Enamored by his colorful surroundings and swooned by his handsome Mexican guide- a religious scholar and ostensively a family man, Palomino (Luis Alberti), Eisenstein's not too subtly repressed homosexuality come to the fore and distract him from working, at all.

With series of wordy exchanges about politics, death and sex in a whirlwind of spinning visuals (actors in front of projections, seemlessly looping the tracking shot, 360 degree panning shots, etc.- almost fit for 3D at times), Greenaway makes it clear that the film is not about Eisenstein as a filmmaker but a 33-year old virgin (but married) discovering sensuality for the first time. And this being Greenaway film, a full frontal is given and sex acts are graphic. There must be tons of Greenaway's dense stylistic innovations I'm missing with the initial viewing here, but I feel Eisenstein in Guanajuato is a lesser Greenaway, failing at holding attention of the viewers in a relatively short running time (105 min).

No comments:

Post a Comment