Que viva México! (1931 – Sergei Eisenstein)

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Title: Que Viva Mexico!
Year: 1931
Runtime: 1 hr 30 min
Director: Sergei Eisenstein
Writer: Eisenstein, Upton Sinclair
Plot: There is no evidence that Eisenstein had any specific idea for a film about or set in Mexico before his actual arrival there in December 1930, although he began shooting almost immediately. The Sinclairs had made it clear that they were expecting Eisenstein to concentrate on visual imagery, and anything by way of a plot would be secondary: they were looking for an artistic travelogue. Furthermore, although the film was to have been completed by April 1931, it wasn't until about that time that Eisenstein even settled on the basic idea of a multi-part film, an anthology with each part focused on a different subculture of the Mexican peoples. Only later still would this idea resolve itself into the concept of a six-part film encompassing the history of the nation, its people and its societal evolution to the present time. Specific details and the contents of each section, and how to connect them, would evolve further over the ensuing months while Eisenstein, Alexandrov and Tisse shot tens of thousands of feet of film. Toward the latter part of 1931, the film was finally structured, in Eisenstein's mind, to consist of four primary sections plus a brief prologue and epilogue. The modern film theorist Bordwell also claims that each episode would have its own distinct style, be "dedicated to a different Mexican artist", and would "also base itself on some primal element (stone, water, iron, fire, air)". The soundtrack in each case would feature a different Mexican folk song. Moreover, each episode would tell the story of a romantic couple; and "threading through all parts was the theme of life and death, culminating in the mockery of death". If true, these details were never communicated to the Sinclairs, who simply found themselves with recurring requests for additional funding as Eisenstein's vision expanded, with no attempt by Eisenstein to respect the economic realities involved in making such an epic work and the financial and emotional limitations of his producers, his contract obligations, and his inability or unwillingness to cogently communicate to them before acquiring permission to proceed away from those contract obligations. This was the ultimate legacy of the film and would be repeated in the similarly aborted Soviet Eisenstein project, Bezhin Meadow. — From Wikipedia

IMDB Rating: 7.6
IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079020/