Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Film and Electronic Arts

Project Advisor 1

Richard Suchenski

Abstract/Artist's Statement

I do not wish to mislead anyone reading this project into thinking that it will become an analysis of something political in nature. It was never my intention. My initial focus was the synthesis between music and image by the great artists Sergei Eisenstein and Sergei Prokofiev, as well as the evocation of Wagnerian ideas in their collaboration. I soon found, though, that I would have to address politics to keep on track.

It is no secret that autocrats control everything in their societies; Joseph Stalin, one of the most terrible dictators in history, invariably had a huge influence on the artistic sphere. Ivan the Terrible is not exempt from this rule. While it is fun to speculate what the film would be had the creators felt completely free, the work is a product of its time. It may not have been intended to be propagandist, but the implicit control of everything by Stalin may have made it so.

I acknowledge this as a huge and interesting discussion, but I’d prefer to say here that I do not express my opinions about this because I do not feel strongly about the issue. Furthermore, I chose to only write about Part I of the trilogy, which Stalin liked. There is enough material to examine in the first film, and looking at Part II is impossible without addressing the politics. Again, I am more interested in the artistry behind the collaboration between Prokofiev and Eisenstein. When the similarity between Ivan and Stalin supports the artistic merit of the film, or is interesting to discuss, I do.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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