Sergueï Eisenstein, the mythical film director who made the glory of Russian and Soviet cinema is really more than a film director. Cultivating the art of montage and of rhythm to the point of inventing a new visual language in the middle of the 1920’s, Eisenstein always put himself at the crossroads of the arts. A man of the theatre, artist, theorist, collector and insatiable reader, he never ceased to enrich the history of art throughout his career. Centre Pompidou-Metz is offering a retrospective of his work in relation to the influence of this universal heritage. We will cover the great films which made him famous (The Strike, 1925 ; The Battleship Potemkine, 1925 ; October, 1928 ; The General Line, 1929 ; ¡ Que Viva Mexico! , 1932 ; Alexander Nevsky, 1938 and Ivan the Terrible, 1944-46), but also his theatrical experiments, his drawings delving into his prolific imagination, or his unfinished projects. The exhibition goes back over the artistic inspirations and visionnary approach of the film director, to the productions with strong ties to the history of Russia but also to his numerous voyages in Europe, to Mexico and to the United States, to his preferred reading and his encounters.
Eisenstein, the theorist, reread the history of art in the light of cinema. Indeed, cinema does not so much represent a technical medium for him, but rather the most elaborate response to primordial human needs. In this respect, the cinema enables him to rethink the whole of the history of art and world culture, which is translated in the exhibition by a gallery of paintings and of sculptures that he analyses in cinematographic terms and of which certain can also, later on, be interpreted through the prism of the cinema. The Eisensteinian history of art is therefore deliberately anachronistic and disorganised, open to non-western cultures. With this exhibition, Centre Pompidou-Metz is proposing a rediscovery of the seventh art, through one of the most important figures of its history.