Stuart Liebman

  • Naum Kleiman’s Eisenstein on Paper

    Eisenstein on Paper: Graphic Works by the Master of Film, by Naum Kleiman. London: Thames & Hudson, 2017. 320 pages.

    IN HIS MEMOIR, Beyond the Stars, Sergei Eisenstein opens the chapter devoted to his drawings with an admission that is both candid and deeply ironic: “In the first place, I never learned to draw.” His formal art education was, indeed, limited. More important, however, over the course of his life, the Russian director actively tried to unlearn academic “rules,” seeking to develop his own, more authentic way of creating pictures, and to reconceive the role drawing played in his

  • Sergei Eisenstein

    Throughout his thirty-year career, the Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein made drawings in many different modes for many different purposes. Estimates suggest that more than five thousand images varying in size and finish—some drawn on mere scraps of ordinary paper or on stationery filched from Mexican hotels—remain in his archive or in other private and public collections. Along with filmmaking and film theory, they constitute a crucial, though largely underrated, third pillar of his artistic achievement.

    Eisenstein sketched from his earliest years and was essentially self-taught.

  • film September 05, 2016

    Marriage Trap

    THE APPARENT SUICIDE of forty-two-year-old director Marcin Wrona at the Gdynia Film Festival in September last year deprived Polish cinema of one of its most impressive emerging talents. The six feature-length movies and several shorts he made over the past decade showcase his fascination with characters living at the edge of violence. The roles he helped to script—a boxer filled with rage at his incurable illness in Moja Krew (My Flesh, My Blood, 2009); in Chrzest (The Christening, 2010), a soldier turned hit man forced to murder the friend who saved him from drowning—were provocative, even

  • THINKING THROUGH CINEMA: THE FILMS OF JEAN EPSTEIN

    1921 WAS AN ANNUS MIRABILIS for Jean Epstein (1897–1953). Born in Warsaw and raised in Switzerland, the twenty-four-year-old former medical student had his first book—an ambitious study of French poetic modernism grandly titled La poésie d’aujourd’hui, un nouvel état d’intelligence (Today’s Poetry: A New Mind-Set)—published by a prestigious vanguard press, Éditions de la Sirène. Its positive reception made him a rising star in the Parisian avant-garde arts scene, and literary luminaries as different as André Gide and Max Jacob expressed disappointment that the hitherto unknown author