by Anthony Kaufman.
In Sergei Eisenstein’s seminal essay “A Dialectic Approach to Film Form,” the Russian filmmaker lays out the foundational theories for his radical political cinema. “Art is always conflict,” he famously writes. “(1) according to its social mission, (2) according to its nature, (3) according to its methodology. According to its social mission because: It is art’s task to make manifest the contradictions of Being.”
Israeli auteur Nadav Lapid may not adhere to Eisenstein’s aesthetics of montage, but he appears to be directly influenced by the Russian’s dialectical philosophy of art. Lapid’s astoundingly assured two feature films, 2011’s Policeman (opening this week in New York), and 2014’s The Kindergarten Teacher (which premiered in Cannes), are both marked by stark oppositions — between law and order, poetry and materialism — and the combustible reaction when these two opposing sides collide.
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