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One of cinema’s great innovators and theorists, Sergei Eisenstein (pictured) was rescued from a career as an engineer by the Russian Revolution, during which his engineering school was converted to a militia center. In the decade after the revolution, Eisenstein turned to theater and then film, making the classic Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and October in the decade after the revolution. No matter how much Eisenstein’s films extolled the new communist ideal, however, the director was criticized as a formalist—which is not altogether untrue. It was Eisenstein who devised the theory of montage, which blends opposing elements into an organic whole. He went on to other successes, notably Alexander Nevsky, but was often foiled in his attempts to complete his projects, not only when working in the Soviet Union but also in the United States and Mexico. Eisenstein: The Master’s House, Naum Klejman’s 1998 cinematic essay on the pioneering director, features rare footage and voice-over narration from Eisenstein’s journals. At 8 p.m., Thursday, April 8, and Friday, April 9, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)