ENG100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Potemkin Stairs, 180-Degree Rule, Soviet Montage Theory

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Published on 10 Apr 2013
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Editing Relating Images
cut an edition transition between two separate shots achieved without optical/special effects
dissolve one shot fades out while another fades in, with the two shots superimposed briefly (longer depending on
speed of dissolve)
Continuity Editing
continuity style (standardized by Hollywood, dominant mainstream style)
o creating spatial and temporal coherence, smooth transitions and verisimilitude; making an extremely
discontinuous production process result in a seamless effect
o challenge (even paradox) of making a seamless whole out of multiple cuts; how to make multiple cuts not
jarring—even “invisible” to viewers
patterns, rules, and techniques
o establishing shot
o master shot
o 180 degree rule 180 degree line or axis of action
o shot/reverse shot
o point-of-view shot (subjective shot)
Soviet Montage
refers to pioneering editing as it was practiced by Russian filmmakers working and experimenting with cinema in the
wake of the 1917 Soviet Revolution; a style that emphasizes the breaks and contrasts between images joined by a cut,
following Soviet silent-era filmmakers’ use of the term; sometimes referred to as “dialectical editing”, “disjunctive
editing”, or “intellectual montage”
o state-sponsored filmmaking in the wake of the revolutionGoskino (centralized state film production); Eisenstein
and other members of the State Cinema Institute of Moscow
o important, influentialworld took note of the Soviet filmmakers including Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov,
Kuleshov, and others
o differed in their approaches, but all believed editing was what made cinema unique; “Kuleshov Experiment”
Sergei Eisenstein
Battleship Potemkin a film about the revolutionary events of 1905
o features famous “Odessa Steps sequence”
“All Art is Conflict”
“Cinema is Montage”
thesis + antithesis = synthesis
o dialectic Marxist/Hegelian model of history; Eisenstein sought to apply it to aesthetics (to a theory of art)
o for Eisenstein, montage (editing) = collision of images to produce ideas
shot is not a building block, but a “cell”
Screwball Comedy
Hollywood romantic comedy genre popularized in the 1930s
historical context: The Great Depression
cultural/industrial context: The Motion Picture Production Code or “Hays Code”
the “Manic Side of the Depression”
o dialogue-driven fast-paced, overlapping, dialogue and general hysteria, sexual tension displaced onto verbal
battles, male/female conflict
o filled with double-entendre, ways of getting around the code