Eisenstein and the Challenge of Sound

  • Marina Burke


EISENSTEIN AND THE CHALLENGE OF SOUND Discussion of Eisenstein's theory and practice in the use of sound from his first experiments in the late 1920s to the later refinement of his ideas on audio/visual correspondence in Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1944-46) have tended to sideline the former, but both are noteworthy in relation to Eisenstein's first experiments in sound and as a link with the elaboration of his later sound theory and practice is evident in Nevsky and Ivan. It is well-known that among the early proponents of sound, the Soviet directors' 'Statement' - a 'wish list freed from practicality'(1) - holds an important place. While opposition to synchronised dialogue was widespread, in the Soviet case there were considerations peculiar to the montage school of filmmakers, as Ian Christie makes clear.(2) By the time of the introduction of synchronised sound, the whole edifice of...