tue 26/09/2017

The Battleship Potemkin Comes Out of the Closet | reviews, news & interviews

The Battleship Potemkin Comes Out of the Closet

The Battleship Potemkin Comes Out of the Closet

Sexual and political mutiny emerges in cinema restoration of the silent masterpiece

Sergei Eisenstein's 'The Battleship Potemkin': The famous Odessa Steps sequence is a defining moment in cinema history

When Sergei Eisenstein's film The Battleship Potemkin was first shown in Moscow in December 1925, just in time to commemorate the 1905 Revolution, the film played to half-empty theatres, because audiences, then as now, preferred the products from Hollywood. Box-office figures were exaggerated by the authorities to demonstrate to the rest of the world that there was a large Soviet audience for Soviet films.

The one aspect of The Battleship Potemkin that has never aroused any censorship is Eisenstein's mischievous homoeroticism

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Eisentein got inot major trouble with his gayness during the abortive making of "Que Viva Mexico." Eisenstein was unable to interest Paramount in any of ideas on his trip to the U.S. So Upton Sinclair stepped in and elected to back him on a project. Sinclair had no idea of how a film was made or what it might cost -- especially one made in the off-the-cuff manner Eisenstein had developed. So he sent his brother-in-law, Hunter Kimbrough, to Mexico tofind out what was going on. Kimbrough was shocked to discover that Eisenstein was havign an awfully wonderful time with Mexican youths. he also discovered a chache of Eisenstein's drawings of said youths with enormous penises. So Sinclair pulled the plug on the project, confiscated the negative and Eisenstei returend to the USSR. He never saw any of the footage that he shot. Sinclair had it cut up into several films that give only the vaguest idea of what Eisenstein had planned.

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