Time in the Sun and Bezhin Meadow | Chicago Reader

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Given the central role played by film editing in the art of Sergei Eisenstein, it’s hard to assess how authentically these reconstructions of uncompleted projects—both assembled by others—convey the director’s vision. But each contains enough astounding images to make them essential viewing for Eisenstein scholars. Time in the Sun (1940, 56 min.) is a digest version of the footage Eisenstein shot in 1931 for his would-be national portrait Qué Viva Mexico!, and it shows the Soviet master at the peak of his creativity, experimenting with sharp, angled perspectives that endow both historical relics and contemporary citizens with mythic authority. Bezhin Meadow (31 min.), a suppressed 1937 film reassembled from still images in 1968, is less impressive in its content (a blunt allegory about farm collectivization), but often just as striking in its compositions.

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