Eisenstein’s Aesthetics in Semiotic Perspective

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The article is devoted to the semiotic interpretation of the theoretic heritage of the film director Sergey Eisenstein by Vyacheslav Ivanov whose jubilee has been recently celebrated. Sergey Eisenstein foresaw the structural methodology that became so popular after the 60s. Vyacheslav Ivanov is known for his vast range of academic interests. The present article is focused on his interest in cinema, in particular - the theoretic heritage of Eisenstein. This interest may be explained by Vyacheslav Ivanov’s assertion, that Eisenstein tended to see cinema as a language or, more specifically, a sign system. This fact couldn’t escape Vyacheslav Ivanov’s notice, since the formation of semiotic methodology in Russia is closely connected with Eisenstein. So it is quite natural that Vyacheslav Ivanov reflects on the prehistory of semiotics too. As for cinema, prehistory in question is closely connected with Sergey Eisenstein’s aesthetics. The author of the present article also touches upon applying semiotic methodology to cinema as a sign system in general. Due to this purpose, the author refers to the period, when Russian cinema theorists were involved in semiological analysis introduced with the influence of structuralist and post-modernist studies in humanities. Some theoreticians attacked semiotic approaches in favor of philosophical and, in particular, phenomenological one. Nevertheless though these approaches are appropriate and efficient, they do not replace the semiotic one. The author argues, that such attempts to refuse from the semiotic approach in the cinema field were ill-timed and superficial. Vyacheslav Ivanov’s semiotic works on cinema, especially his book Eisenstein’s Aesthetics, simultaneously affirm a philosophical approach to this topic. Interpreting the meaning of the title, the author of the present article argues, that the concept of semiotics was already created at the initial stage of the development of aesthetics as a branch of philosophy.

About the authors

Nikolai Andreyevich Khrenov

State Institute of Art Studies

Author for correspondence.
Email: editor@vestnik-vgik.com

PhD in Philosophy, professor, Deputy Director


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