October (1928)by Sergei Eisenstein

October (1928)
by Sergei Eisenstein

About Sergei Eisenstein’s October

Sergei Eisenstein had free reign to recreate the events of October 25 and 26th 1917.   He was given uninterrupted access to all areas of the famous Hermitage or Winter Palace. He was allowed to raise St Petersburg’s famous bridges. He recreated in lavish detail both the battleship Aurora’s attack and the storming of the Winter Palace.  

As importantly, October marks the high point of Eisenstein’s exploration of ‘intellectual montage’, leading contemporary critics to use the film as the end marker of the radical innovation of 1920s Russian filmmaking. The film boasts dazzling editing sequences of contrapuntal and highly controversial images.  Joseph Stalin famously removed sequences involving Trotsky from the final cut.  

This version premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012 with accompaniment of a new restoration of the music originally composed by Edmund Meisel for the film in 1928.  In this British premiere of that restoration, Frank Strobel, Europe’s leading film in music conductor, accompanies the film with the London Symphony Orchestra. 

Ian Christie

Ian Christie


Ian Christie is Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the co-curator of our exhibition at GRAD Unexpected Eisenstein. He co-curated Eisenstein: His Life and Art (Oxford Museum of Modern Art/Hayward Gallery, 1988). Ian also co-edited Eisenstein Rediscovered (1993) and The Film Factory: Russian and Soviet Cinema in Documents, 1896-1939 (1988). He is the author of monographs on Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger and Martin Scorsese.

Kino Klassika thanks Lombard Odier for their generous support of this screening. 

Programme for OCTOBER (1928):

For more information on Kino Klassika’s collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican to mark the centenary of the Russian revolution, take a look at our October Programme  The programme includes programme notes by Prof Oksana Bulgakowa, Kino Klassika founder Justine Waddell, Duncan MacIntyre the Managing Director UK of lead sponsor Lombard Odier, Prof Ian Christie and Dr Maria Korolkova as well as information about Edmund Meisel and the reconstruction of October’s original score.

Trailer for the London Symphony Concert of OCTOBER (1928):


“Hallucinating history: when Stalin and Eisenstein reinvented a revolution”

The Guardian 


“A head-spinning two hours with baroque imagery and heavy-metal music of 1927-8…”

The Arts Desk


“Ian Christie explores the significance of Eisenstein’s October prior to a screening in its newly restored original version at the Barbican”

BBC Radio 4 – Front Row


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