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Eisenstein, Sergei Mikhailovich (1898-1948)  
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Often his infatuations (as in the case of Alexandrov) were with young heterosexual men, whom he would educate and assist in their careers. His drawings, recently exhibited during the centenary of his birth, include many illustrations of homosexual activity.

Despite his difficulties with censorship and other problems, Eisenstein created a remarkable legacy. His films reveal his continued commitment to experimentation in form. Nevsky, his first sound film, contains spectacular scenes, most notably the Battle on the Ice, as well as the incomparably thrilling film score of Sergei Prokofiev.

Ivan the Terrible, an intensely Expressionistic study of political power and corruption, with immense sets, voluminous costumes, and amazingly hyperbolic lighting, represents a contrast to this earlier work. It was not dynamically edited, but relied on extended long takes, in which dialogue, sound effects, and music were crucial. Ivan the Terrible pointed to new operatic possibilities in motion pictures.

In addition, Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible benefited from the charismatic performances of Nikolai Cherkassov, a "golden Adonis" on whom the director doted.

From Strike to Ivan, Eisenstein's career always excited controversy, but he remains one of the most important filmmakers in history, the exemplar of the true intellectual artist.

Daryl Chin

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arts >> Overview:  Film

Since cinema began, Hollywood has been fascinated with finding ways of representing homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Directors

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual film directors have been a vital creative presence in cinema since the medium's inception over one hundred years ago.

social sciences >> Overview:  Russia

A cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe, Russia has a long, rich, and often violent heritage of varied influences and stark confrontations in regard to its patterns of same-sex love.

arts >> Anger, Kenneth

One of America's first openly gay filmmakers, and certainly the first whose work addressed homosexuality in an undisguised, self-implicating manner, Kenneth Anger occupies an important place in the history of experimental filmmaking.


Bergen, Ronald. Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict. Boston: Little, Brown, 1997.

Eisenstein, Sergei M. Beyond the Stars: The Memoirs of Sergei M. Eisenstein. Richard Taylor, ed.; William Powell, trans. Calcutta: Seagull Books, 1995.

_____. Immortal Memories: An Autobiography. Herbert Marshall, trans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983.

Montagu, Ivor. With Eisenstein in Hollywood: A Chapter of Autobiography. New York: International Publishers, 1969.

Seton, Marie. Sergei M. Eisenstein: A Biography. London: Dennis Dobson, 1978.


    Citation Information
    Author: Chin, Daryl  
    Entry Title: Eisenstein, Sergei Mikhailovich  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 9, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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