Ivan the Terrible, Part II
(Boyarskii zagovor), (The Boyars' Plot), (The Revolt of the Boyars)
Peter Bagrov is a film historian, curator, and archivist specializing in early Russian and Soviet cinema. He currently serves as vice president of the International Federation of Film Archives and until recently was the senior curator at Gosfilmofond of Russia. Note: Bagrov will be present at the February 11 screening only.
Nikolai Cherkasov, Serafina Birman, Pavel Kadochnikov, Mikhail Zharov,
Ivan the Terrible, Part II also screens on April 25 (with a lecture by Anne Nesbet) as part of the series In Focus: Eisenstein and His Contemporaries.
The second part of Eisenstein’s unfinished trilogy is mainly concerned with Ivan’s return to the throne and his ruthless opposition to the schemes of the boyars to keep Russia divided among its princes and foreign interests. Stalin took a particular dislike to the portrayal of the Czar’s secret police, and the film was banned; finished in 1946, Part II was not released until 1958. It contains a lovely flashback to Ivan’s childhood; a meditation on the loneliness of the Czar; a marvelous set piece setting up the usurper Vladimir for assassination; and a Brechtian operatic interlude that is Eisenstein’s one and only experiment in the two-color process. This print includes a few minutes of test footage from the unfinished Part III.