FILM 1701 Lecture Notes - Creative Geography, Soviet Montage Theory, Joiner

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Published on 17 Apr 2013
York University
FILM 1701
of 3
Week 7: Soviet Montage Cinema
Soviet Cinema History
1902 - formation of Bolshevik (“activist”) party in split from Menshevik (“joiner”)
1905 - demonstration vs Tsar at Odessa mowed down by soldiers (Battleship
-failed rebellion given mythic status as precursor to successful 1917 Revolution
-led to creation of “Soviet” (worker’s council)
1907 - first Russian film studios
1914-1917 Russia fights in WWI: disastrous campaign with high death toll and poverty
at home
1917 - Russian Revolution in two stages
i. Feb: Menshevik “Provisional Government” led by Kerensky; does not
withdraw from WWI
ii. Bolshevik Revolution led by Lenin
April: Lenin arrives in Moscow
June: disastrous offensive by army
July: attempted right-wing coup vs Kerensky by Gen. Kornilov
October: Bolshevik coup win support on campaign of “Peace, Land, and Bread”;
immediate withdrawal from WWI
1917-1920: Civil War between Red and Whites (supported by UK, France, USA): 28
million dead
-little film stock or equipment available
1919 - nationalization of cinema by Lenin’s decree
-establishment of VGIK (All-Union State Institute of Cinematography)
-Lev Kuleshov sets up workshop within VGIK: montage experiments on Griffith’s
1921-1928: Lenin institutes NEP (New Economic Policy) to permit limited capitalism
1922 - Lenin declares “for all the arts for us the most important is cinema”
-Vertov’s first manifesto. “We”
1924: Lenin dies (young)
1925: anniversary of 1905 proto-Revolution: production begins on Battleship Potemkin
and Mother
1927: anniversary of 1917 revolution: production begins on October (Eisenstein)
1928: Stalin comes to power
-Party Conference on Cinema: directives that film must be intelligible to
-collectivization of farms begins
1930: Soviet film industry brought under centralized control
1934: First Congress of Soviet Workers: establishes doctrine of Socialist Realism
1935: All-Union Creative Conference on Workers in Soviet Cinema:
Eisenstein,Kuleshov, Vertov, and Dovzhenko denounced or ignored
Different Theories of Soviet Montage:
Kuleshov effects: creating meaning and "constructing spatial relationships through editing by
eliminating establishing shots" (B/T)
Lev Kuleshov: Soviet filmmaker
-taught at State School of Cinema Art in 1920
Kuleshov effects:
a) Projection of emotion by audience onto actor
b) Creative geography: "any series of shots that in the absence of an establishing shot prompts
the spectator to infer a spatial whole on the basis of seeing only portions of the space."
Pudovkin: montage as linkage (“brick by brick, according to Eisenstein), literally "assembling" a
film, creating a narrative chain of events.
Eisenstein: Dialectical montage
Dialectical theory of creation or development:
--- --
“Degree of incongruity determines the intensity of impression”

Document Summary

1902 - formation of bolshevik ( activist ) party in split from menshevik ( joiner ) party. 1905 - demonstration vs tsar at odessa mowed down by soldiers (battleship. Failed rebellion given mythic status as precursor to successful 1917 revolution. 1914-1917 russia fights in wwi: disastrous campaign with high death toll and poverty at home. 1917 - russian revolution in two stages: feb: menshevik provisional government led by kerensky; does not withdraw from wwi, bolshevik revolution led by lenin. July: attempted right-wing coup vs kerensky by gen. kornilov. October: bolshevik coup win support on campaign of peace, land, and bread ; immediate withdrawal from wwi. 1917-1920: civil war between red and whites (supported by uk, france, usa): 28 million dead. 1919 - nationalization of cinema by lenin"s decree. Establishment of vgik (all-union state institute of cinematography) Lev kuleshov sets up workshop within vgik: montage experiments on griffith"s. 1921-1928: lenin institutes nep (new economic policy) to permit limited capitalism.