CINEMA OF THE SOVIET UNION “Montage” Sergei Eisenstein Film Theory and Criticism III Tshwane University of Technology Presented by: Greg du Tertre - (B-Tech) 26 July 2011
What is/has Montage become to us as modern filmmakers and viewers?
Hollywood - “Montage Sequence”
French - “Assembly”
SOVIET FILMMAKING IN THE 1920’s! “ Creative Editing”
Soviet Union: the trailer
Downfall of Tsar Nicholas II : 1917
Rise of Valdimir Lenin - 1920’s
Propaganda tool to enforce new ideologies?
Medium that could not only reach viewers but convince viewers
Soviet government - 1) Censorship 2) Funding = Short Propaganda films
Forefathers directors use of editing
Mr Lev Kuleshov Vsevold Pudovkin Dziga Vertov
USA: - DW GRIFFITH (Narrative Power)
Montage is what will conduct a viewer to reach a certain conclusion: As viewer infer meaning based on context.
“ Saw themselves as propagandists and teachers rather then conventional entertainers”
Pudovkin : ‘Film Technique - 1929’
“ Pudvokin held that if a film NARRATIVE was to be kept continually effective, each shot must make a new and specific point…”
Smiling actor + Revolver + Terrified actor = Cowardly/scared
Terrified actor + Revolver + smiling actor = heroic
“ Film art begins from the moment when the director begins to combine and join together the various pieces of film. By joining them in various combinations in different orders, he obtains differing results.”
Griffith = narrative through behavior and movement of actors
Pudovkin = narrative through juxtaposition
Different Dramatic intentions
Student of Kuleshov
“ The story merely provides a convenient structure upon which to build an explosion of ideas”
CONFLICT - visual signs (Syntax)
Extent the power of the film medium beyond narrative
Eisenstein believed that the director’s function was to evolve series of shot conflicts to express an idea through which a new meaning arose
2 uninflected juxtaposed shots should collide to provoke a conscience third thought in the mind of the viewer.
Child + mouth = Scream
A mouth + bird = sing
‘ Intellectual’ Montage
“ The Dialectic Approach to Film Form - 1949…”
Metric - Length of film determines criteria (Every Second)
Rhythmic - Content in frame determines length
Tonal - emotional tone of piece (Dutch tilt)
Over Tonal - Conflict between principle tone.
Intellectual - Content juxtaposed on intellectual level
Proper film continuity should proceed by a series of shock.
“ What I am concerned with is the manner of telling the story and how you put your scenes together, and in consequence create an emotion in an audience. That’s what I mean by pure film. The way you put it together to create emotion. Let me give you an example… 1) Close up of a man and we cut to what he sees. what now? A women nursing a baby. Back to face reaction man smiles. Now what is he? A gentleman. Take away the middle piece and substitute a girl in a bikini. Now he is a dirty old man. That’s what I mean by the purity of montage and control of film.” - 1970
Succession of images juxtaposed so that the contrast between these images moves the story forward.
The way people tell stories:
Uninflected images: Lion and the buck
Work of the director is constructing the shot list
Camera, Actor, Meaning
2011 advert Montage discuss
Battle Ship Potemkin (1925)
Ivan The Terrible Part 1 and 2 ( 1944,1945)
Things Change (1988)
A Dialectic Approach to Film Form - 1949
Hayward, S. (2006) Cinema studies, the key concepts. 3 rd ed. Routledge
Dancyger,K (2006) The Path to Great Directors. Focal Press
Eisenstein, S (1951) Film Form. Dobson
Eisenstein, s (1974) From dickens, Griffith and the film today