THTRFLM 1T03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Soviet Montage Theory, Medium Shot, Establishing Shot

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Lecture Eleven
Continued of Standard CHC Editing Pattern of a Scene:
. Establishing Shot
. Medium Shot
. Shot/ Reverse Shot Close- Ups
. Medium Shot
. Re-establishing Shot
Ex) Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
. Easier to see editing without sound
. Good and bad being compared through the editing
. Establishing shot, Shot reverse shots, Medium shot
. Good girl/ good boy and bad girl/bad boy
. All about establishing the spacial norms so the audience is not
Soviet Montage
. Soviet Union
. 1917: Soviet Revolution
. New Soviet state had certain practical demands for its art:
1) Didactic
. Mass persuasion not entertainment
. Still appealing enough to be popular
2) Must reach radically dispersed populations
. Illiterate, various languages
. Silent films
3) A movement that the government could support
4) A modern aesthetic
. Constructivism
. Art that isn’t only concerned with beauty and aesthetics
. Should have a utilitarian purpose
. Not autonomous, or independent of society (must be new,
now, social, industrialized)
. Art akin to labour- should serve a basic, social function
. Artists compared to engineers
. Their studios compared to factories
. Artworks compared to machines
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. Soviet Montage
. The element of film that was thought to best serve a Constructivist purpose
was a montage
. Film not natural outgrowth of reality, but a strategic assemblage of bits and
. Films should be constructed through editing to evoke an immediate
emotional and intellectual response (very Brechtian)
. Montage was the means of putting elements together in a systematic way tot
achieve these desired effects
Kuleshov Effect
. Soviet ideas about montage born from Lev Keuleshov’s experiment
. What is his discovery?
. The meaning of the face changed between the relationships of shots
. Man with dead little girl
. Man with beautiful woman
. Man with bowl of soup
. Meaning is derived from the juxtaposition with another image
. Meaning of a shot is stronger in the “space between” than in the shot by
. Editing shapes and can even override the content of a single shot
. We cannot help but fill in the “in between” as “he is looking” and therefore
“he is feeling” a certain way
. By putting them together they create a new meaning
Sergei Eisenstein
. 1898-1948
. Father of Soviet Montage (aka Dialectical Montage)
. Basic dialectical principle of montage:
. It is characterized by collision of two pieces of film in conflict with each
. This arises a meaning not necessarily found in either individual shot
. Although it borrows from it, this is the opposite of Continuity Editing
. Used to make arguments
. Used for propaganda
. The meanings become subtler with each film:
. Strike (1924)
. Animal slaughter- graphic
. About the workers strike
. Meaning: Eisenstein is telling us that these men are being
slaughtered like animals
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. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
. Strike on a ship
. Guns on the ship are going off
. The laying, sitting, standing (we know it has to be 3 different statues,
but we think at first glance it’s the same one)
. Meaning: The lion is rising up, the masses rising up against the
. In the name of God
. bounces back and forth between religious icons
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