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Sergei Eisenstein, long regarded as a pioneer of film art, changed cinematic strategies halfway through his career. Upon returning from Hollywood and Mexico in the late 1930s, he left behind the densely edited style of celebrated silents like Battleship Potemkin and October, turning instead to historical sources, contradictory audiovisuals, and theatrical sets for his grandiose yet subversive sound-era work. This trio of rousing action epics reveals a deeply unsettling portrait of the Soviet Union under Stalin, and provided battle-scene blueprints for filmmaking giants from Laurence Olivier in Henry V to Akira Kurosawa in Seven Samurai. Alexander Nevsky Sergei Eisenstein drew on history, Russian folk narratives, and the techniques of Walt Disney to create this broadly painted epic of Russian resilience, the story of Teutonic knights vanquished by Prince Alexander Nevsky’s tactical brilliance. Ivan the Terrible, Part I Visually stunning and powerfully acted, Ivan the Terrible charts the rise to power and descent into terror of this veritable dictator. Ivan the Terrible, Part II Visually stunning and powerfully acted, Ivan the Terrible charts the rise to power and descent into terror of this veritable dictator. Stalin detested the portrait in the second film—with its summary executions and secret police—and promptly banned it.

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Special Features Gorgeous new digital transfers, all with restored image and sound Audio essay on Alexander Nevsky by film scholar David Bordwell Multimedia essays on Eisenstein’s collaboration with composer Sergei Prokofiev, the history of Ivan the Terrible, and Eisenstein’s visual vocabulary A reconstruction of Eisenstein’s unfinished film Bezhin Meadow, plus rare photos and documents from the set Deleted scenes from Ivan the Terrible Drawings and production stills Restoration demonstration New English subtitle translations

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CC86 Eisenstein: The Sound Years DVD (Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible Parts 1 & 2) $79.95 $69.99