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Aleksandr Nevskij

Saturday, May 6, 2017, 7:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre

Alexander Nevsky, Sergei M. Eisenstein and Dmitriy Vasilev, Soviet Union 1938
Print source: Österreichisches Filmmuseum (Austrian Film Museum), Vienna
Running time: 108 minutes

About the print

At some point in the 1960s, this became the 324th print to enter the collection of the Austrian Film Museum, likely a donation of the Soviet embassy in Vienna. The print is in excellent condition. Shrinkage: 0.8–1%

About the film

“In Nevsky, the white robes of the Teuton Ritter were associated with the themes of cruelty, oppression and death, while the color of black, attached to the Russian warriors, conveyed the positive themes of heroism and patriotism. This deviation from the generally accepted image for these colors would have been less surprising to the critics and press abroad (whose objections were very interesting in themselves) if they had recalled an astonishing and powerful passage of literature which I have since found for myself—the chapter called ‘The Whiteness of the Whale,’ in Melville’s Moby Dick.”

– Sergei Eisenstein, The Film Sense, 1942

“It is necessary to show historical figures correctly and strongly. You directed Alexander Nevskij. It came out very well. The most important thing is to maintain the style of the historical period.”

– Joseph Stalin in conversation with Sergei Eisenstein, Moscow, February 1947

Following Aleksandr Nevskij:

Le Sang des Bêtes

Blood of the Beasts, Georges Franju, France 1949
Print source: La Cinémathèque française, Paris
Running time: 22 minutes

About the print: Donated to La Cinémathèque française by André Joseph, editor and first assistant of Georges Franju, cofounder of the Cinémathèque, the print is in great shape, with very few scratches or splices. Shrinkage: 0.6%

About the film: A haunting documentary classic that details the daily operations of Paris slaughterhouses.