The Thinking Machine 23

An Awesome Picture

In his final features, Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible Parts I & II (1944), Sergei Eisenstein redefined his theory and practice of montage. No longer based on the flagrant discontinuity of atomised shot-units, Eisenstein’s editing now worked hand-in-glove with his mise en scène, but in a most unusual way: the images are carefully connected and make up a coherent scene, yet on close inspection many elements shift drastically from shot to shot. How did he do it in Nevsky?