Film - Series | February 11 | 2 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Ivan the Terrible, Part I also screens on April 18 (with a lecture by Anne Nesbet) as part of the series In Focus: Eisenstein and His Contemporaries.
Like Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible is a collaboration with that magician Sergei Prokofiev, as Eisenstein called him; it has a strange magic bordering on sorcery. Filmed under difficult wartime conditions, it is set in sixteenth-century Moscow, where the newly crowned Czar Ivan attempts to thwart both the boyars (the feudal nobility) and the hold of the church to create a unified Russia. Set mostly in cave-like cathedral interiors with frescoed walls, the film itself is like a fresco come to life in painterly long shots and tortured close-ups. Part I follows Ivan from his coronation to his voluntary exile to Alexandrov to await his peoples summons.