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PRINT January 1973

Montage “October”: Dialectic of the Shot

While the conventional film directs the emotions, this suggests an opportunity to encourage and direct the whole thought process, as well.

—Eisenstein

TEN YEARS AFTER THE EVENT, Alexandrov, Eisenstein’s colleague and codirector, wrote about their one audience with Joseph Stalin in the tones of childlike reverence and obedience that reveal the loss of innocence rather than its opposite. “The idea,” his account began, “that we, young Soviet film-makers, were to see the great leader of the people, to talk with him personally, filled us with excitement and joy.” And it ended with, “We were sincerely sorry that the talk with Cde Stalin had not taken place before we made our film. It would have been a very different film. . . .”1

The interview had been held in the spring of 1929, in the interval between the completion and the official release of The General Line, Eisenstein’s fourth film. Stalin

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