Finally, Peter Greenaway’s “Eisenstein in Guanajuato” sees the light of day this month at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. Shot in Mexico, the avant-biopic follows Russian iconoclast Sergei Eisenstein’s sensually stirring days spent in the title city in 1931, a heavy influence on his life and films. (Poster below.)
Here’s the festival synopsis: “In 1931, at the height of his artistic powers, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein travels to Mexico to shoot a new film to be titled Que Viva Mexico. Freshly rejected by Hollywood and under increasing pressure to return to Stalinist Russia, Eisenstein arrives at the city of Guanajuato. Chaperoned by his guide Palomino Cañedo, he vulnerably experiences the ties between Eros and Thanatos, sex and death, happy to create their effects in cinema, troubled to suffer them in life.”
Though the British director of such brainy melds of art and film as “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” (1989), “A Zed & Two Naughts” and “The Pillow Book”(1996) has lately been working on experimental art projects, Greenaway has put out a couple of features in recent years, including “Goltzius and the Pelican Company” (2012) with F. Murray Abraham.
A Berlin competition entry, “Eisenstein”‘s cast includes Finnish actor Elmer Back in the title role, Mexican actor Luis Alberti in the role of his guide (Palomino Canedo), South African actor Stelio Savante as Hunter S. Kimbrough and Lisa Owen as Mary Craig Sinclair. Film Boutique currently holds world sales rights.
Ryan Lattanzio is a staff writer for TOH! at Indiewire. Follow him on Twitter.