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Title: Beyond imagination : Eisenstein on audiovisual cinema
Author: Robertson, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 7806
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This research presents the first stage of a composer-filmmaker's exploration of Eisenstein's ideas on audiovisual cinema, an attempt to answer this question: how does Eisenstein contribute to our understanding of cinema as an audiovisual medium? In the first chapter, Audiovisual Counterpoint, the influences on Eisenstein of Hans Richter, James Joyce, and Chinese landscape painting are shown. These influences are related to the polyphonic technique of fugue, and how Eisenstein found in this musical technique a method for structuring audiovisual cinema. The second chapter, Organic Unity, features what Eisenstein learned about the audiovisual from his mentor, the theatre director Meyerhold, with specific reference to music and its relation to the concept of organic unity. The third chapter, Non indifferent Nature, is a study of how Eisenstein's concept of `nonindifferent nature' was crystallised during the making of his unfinished sound film Que viva Mexico! It shows how Eisenstein was influenced by the muralist painters Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco, Mexico's cultures and landscapes, and his research into trance states and religion. It explains how these influences were vital to Eisenstein's deepening awareness of the expressive possibilities of audiovisual cinema. The last chapter, Synaesthesia, features Eisenstein's fascination with the phenomenon of synaesthesia, especially of the audiovisual kind. His audiovisual collaboration with Prokofiev is examined in this context. Eisenstein's related interest in the ideas of Wagner, Kandinsky and Scriabin, as well as the research of the psychologists Vygotsky and Luria are explored. Various responses to stimuli are outlined: synaesthesia, the reflex, the conditioned reflex, metaphorical thinking, and the process of association. This stimulus response model prompts a study of the influence of various occult traditions and symbolism on Eisenstein. This is followed by an examination of his idea of audiovisual cinema as a form of thought. An overview of the musicality of Eisenstein's approach to the audiovisual is then demonstrated, and the chapter concludes with an account of his vision of a new audiovisual language of cinema.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available