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The Storming of the Winter Palace: the 1920 Reenactment, Caught on Film

May 17, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Oshman Auditorium, McMurtry Building

This event is free and open to the public.

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The Storming of the Winter Palace is a half-an-hour long documentary filmed in Soviet Russia in November 1920. What it documents is a theatricalized reenactment of the eponymous storming in October 1917. Masterminded and directed by Nikolai Evreinov, the reenactment was a giant all-night full-square spectacle that involved more than 2,500 participants: workers, soldiers, and actors (and, among the latter, the entire cast of the former Imperial Ballet). Despite the weather, the mega-show more than 100,000 spectators. The 1920 Storming was both a boldly grotesque avant-garde endeavor and an exercise in heroic iconography to become firmly imprinted in films and history books about the October Revolution. The film we are going to show includes recently recovered footage of the day-time dress rehearsal of The Storming. The film will be introduced by a 50-minute lecture on the staging and filming of this unique event. 

Yuri Tsivian, the William Colvin professor with University of Chicago, departments of Cinema and Media Studies and of Art History. The author of five books and over one hundred publications in sixteen languages, Yuri Tsivian is also credited with launching two new fields in the studies of film and culture: carpalistics and cinemetrics. The former studies and compares different uses of gesture in theater, visual arts, literature and film; the latter uses digital tools to explore the art of film editing. In 2018 through 2021 Tsivian will serve as a principal investigator on the project “Artificial Intelligence, Images and Cinematographic Styles” launched by Beijing Film Academy in China.  

Daria Khitrova (Harvard University) received her Ph.D. in Russian Literature (nineteenth-century lyrical poetry) in 2005 from Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow. More than 15 of her scholarly articles range from Russian literature to film and the history of dance, including “Eisenstein’s Choreography in Ivan the Terrible” (in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema) and “This Is No Longer Dance:” The Politics of Choreography in The Steel Step (1927)” (in Critical Inquiry).

Event Sponsor: 
Department of Art & Art History, CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies
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