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Sergei M. Eisenstein contains the first published English translation of Eisenstein’s newly discovered notes for a general history of cinema. Eisenstein worked on this project during the year before his death, while he was director of the Cinema Section of the Soviet Institute for the History of the Arts. His notes reveal a complicated web of the genealogy of film, which traces the creation of the medium from its roots in various other art forms. Cinema appears here as the heir of a very long aesthetic tradition, which includes death masks, ritual processions, wax museums, and panoramas. Eisenstein presents a virtual atlas of the arts, while showing cinema to be a medium constantly in flux and continually redefining itself.
Accompanying Eisenstein’s own writings, critical essays from internationally acclaimed film scholars round out this volume and contextualize these notes within both Eisenstein’s life and the history of cinema. Sergei M. Eisenstein shows a brilliantly original approach developed by one of cinema’s great auteurs, who redefines film as a medium.