Que Viva Mexico! (Da zdravstvuyet Meksika!)
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- Rated: Unrated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 25 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: April 10, 2001
- Originally Released: 1930
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Additional Release Material:
- ROMANCE SENTIMENTALE (Eisenstein, 1930, 20 min.)
- MISERY AND FORTUNE OF A WOMAN (Eisenstein, 1929, 20 min. excerpt)
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Access
- Que Viva Clippings: Production Texts
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Directed by||Sergei M. Eisenstein|
|Produced by||Grigori Alexandrov|
|Director of Photography:||Edouard Tisse|
A legendary production plagued by problems almost from the outset, the making of QUE VIVA MEXICO cured Sergei Eisenstein of the desire ever to work in North America again. On the verge of leaving Hollywood in disgust in 1930, Eisenstein accepted financing from a group of investors, led by writer Upton Sinclair, to make an ambitious film on Mexican culture. When the director ran out of money before shooting was completed, Sinclair shut down production and seized the extant footage. More than 40 years later, the film was turned over to Eisenstein's assistant, Grigori Alexandrov, and he edited what remained according to the director's notes. The film consists of three vignettes: Sandunga, Manguei, and Fiesta. The first explores the precolonial world of the Incas, observing ancient architecture and detailing pagan religious practices and langorous mating rituals. In the second, a murderer is punished for his crime in an unusually graphic and barbaric manner. The third features a brilliantly photographed bullfight. There was to be a fourth episode, Soldadera, dealing with the 1910 revolution. Although it was never shot, Alexandrov describes Eisentein's intentions with the aid of still photos and sketches. Despite its fragmentary nature, this unique document, permeated by images of eroticism and death, contains what is likely the most breathtaking photography of Mexico on celluloid.
Sergei Eisenstein's lost masterpiece documents the history of Mexico and its people through Yucatecan monuments, Tehuantepecan jungles, and the frescoes of Squieros, Rivera, and Orosco. The film was shot on location in Mexico by Edouard Tisse and financed by American novelist Upton Sinclair; it is a silent film, with Russian narration and English subtitles.
- Release date: 1979.
- At one point Eisenstein and his crew were arrested by Mexican authorities for no apparent reason and were released only through the intervention of American celebrities.
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