“Remontages: Eisenstein and The Anthropology of Rhythm” at MAXXI, Rome

Test for extra roles for the film Bezhin Meadow (1935–37), RGALI


On Wednesday January 17th, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Till Gathmann, Marie Rebecchi and Elena Vogman will present Remontages: Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm a book launch, screening and talk, in the Sala Graziella Lonardi Buontempo at MAXXI, in Rome.

When opening Sergei Eisenstein’s archive, a vertiginous complexity challenges established categories and our usual way of seeing. The formal and technical details of several documents test our historical and political imagination. The book Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm by Marie Rebecchi, Elena Vogman and Till Gathmann (NERO, 2017) presents a remontage of documents from the director’s archives in Moscow, revealing their potential relation to the present. This yet unacknowledged body of work features Eisenstein’s Mexican project Que viva Mexico! (1931–1932), the destroyed Bezhin Meadow (1935–1937) and Fergana Canal (1939), halted before filming even started. In Eisenstein’s footage, the organic and the mechanical, regular and irregular rhythms, forms and gestures become anthropological instruments. The anthropology of rhythm is an attempt to find the “melody in the material.”

Together with the artist Clemens von Wedemeyer the authors will discuss the work of archival remontage, drawing particular attention towards the role of film extras as elements of both cinematographic and political history. Fragments from Wedemeyer’s work on the politics of casting, including the footage of Cinecittà productions (The Cast, 2013) and the work of Teatro Valle Occupato will be discussed in relation to Eisenstein’s use of non-professional actors (“tipazh”).

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm, curated by Marie Rebecchi and Elena Vogman in collaboration with Till Gathmann at the Nomas Foundation, in Rome.

The event was made possible by the Goethe Institut.


Sergei Eisenstein, drawing from the series St. Veronica, March 23–May 23, 1931, RGALI


Stills from Eisenstein’s Mexican footage. Double-spread from the book Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm
M. Rebecchi, E. Vogman, T. Gathmann (eds.). Rome: NERO, 2017


Test for actor roles for the film The Great Fergana Canal, 1939, RGALI


Clemens von Wedemeyer, Till Gathmann, Marie Rebecchi and Elena Vogman
Remontages: Eisenstein and The Anthropology of Rhythm
Book Launch, Screening and Talk | English Language
17 January 2018, 6–7:30pm | Free Entrance

MAXXI | via Guido Reni 4A, Rome
Sala Graziella Lonardi Buontempo