Films A to Z

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

120 min.
Year of Production:
Elmer Bäck
Luis Alberti
Rasmus Slatis
Jakob Öhrman
Maya Zapata
Lisa Owen
Stelio Savante
Production Company:
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Feature Film

In 1931 the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein travels to Guanajuato to direct his film Que viva México. There he encounters a new culture and its dealings with death; he also discovers another revolution - and his own body. Peter Greenaway depicts Eisenstein as an eccentric artist who travels to Mexico filled with the hubris of being an internationally celebrated star director. Once there, he gets into difficulties with his American financier, the novelist Upton Sinclair. At the same time he begins, in the simultaneously joyful and threatening foreign land, to re-evaluate his homeland and the Stalinist regime. And, in doing so, he undergoes the transition from a conceptual filmmaker into an artist fascinated by the human condition. Under his gaze, the signs, impressions, religious and pagan symbols of Mexican culture assemble themselves anew.Making use of extreme close-ups, splitscreens and a dramatic montage - all to enact the transformation of a hero who presents himself as atragic clown - Greenaway deliberately quotes and modifies Eisenstein's own cinematic tools. Scene by scene the film gets closer to Eisenstein the man, who finds himself surprised by an unexpected desire.

BIOGRAFIE Peter Greenaway

Born in Newport, Wales in 1942. On graduating he worked as a fine artist and editor at the British government’s Central Office of Information. He directed numerous short films and documentaries which came to international attention. In his work he has often collaborated with composers such as Philip Glass, John Cage and Michael Nyman. His feature debut THE DRAUGHTMAN’S CONTRACT signaled his international breakthrough as a director. Alongside his films, he has also created numerous installations and multimedia projects

FILMOGRAFIE Peter Greenaway (selection)

2015 Eisenstein in Guanajuato  2008 Rembrandt's J'Accuse  1999 8 ½ Women  1991 Prospero's Books  1987 The Belly of an Architect  1980 The Falls   1967 5 Postcards from Capital Cities  

Peter Greenaway IMDb
Interview about Einstein in Guanajuato

back to overview