Few figures in cinema history are as towering as Russian filmmaker and theorist Sergei Mikhailovitch Eisenstein (1898-1948). Not only did Eisenstein direct some of the most important and lasting works of the silent era, including Strike
, and Battleship Potemkin
, as well as, in the sound era, the historical epics Alexander Nevsky
and Ivan the Terrible
--he also was a theorist whose insights into the workings of film were so powerful that they remain influential for both filmmakers and scholars today.
?Seagull Books is embarking on a series of translations of key works by Eisenstein into English. The Short-Fiction Scenario
presents a master-class on turning a short story into an effective film. Delivered as a series of lectures at the State Institute of Cinematography, it details two parallel scripts drawn from the same story; at each point of difference, Eisenstein explains why one works better.