How is Soviet montage is “revolutionary”? Please discuss With the reference to the works of Soviet Russian film directors Sergei Esienstein and Dziga Vertov. Please use Eisenstein “Battleship Potemkin” and Verov’s “Man with the camera” films for the discussion. Even though Esienstein and Vertov seem to be different in their theory, in reality are they really different? Consider subject matter in terms of techniques and montage. Vertov kinoeye, what he said about camera, narratives, etc. What Esienstein said about camera, narratives? Gap between theory and practice. How is Soviet montage revolutionary? What is it revolutionary to and in comparison to what? What means, revolutionary? Revolutionary both in terms of form and meaning. What Esienstein beleived his film Battleship Potemkin should achieved? What Vertov beleived his film Man with the Camrea achieved? What is the meaning of revolution in montage? The context, the question of revolution. Are there political if any messages in Vertov’s films? Constructivism influence (just a paragraph, probably)? Andre Bazin and the evolution of language in cinema, realism (just about a paragraph too). Did Esienstein believed his films were realistic? The question of reality could be compared to Classical Hollywood films. Vertov and Esienstein films developed as reaction to Classical Hollywood drama. basic info on Soviet montage topic: Creating Narrative Through Editing:The Principles of Soviet Montage Soviet Montage Cinema of the 1920s– roots in painting, literature and music from pre-Revolutionary Russia (Futurism, Suprematism – Kasimir Malevich); poetry (Vladimir Mayakovsky)- Russia after the Revolution in 1917 became a hotbed of radical art forms – the end of 1920s – the end of a period of civil unrest in the Soviet Union (post-1905 and 1917 brutal revolutions)- Soviet cinema introduced officially in 1919 (Lenin’s approval of the decree on the transfer of the photographic trade and industry to The People’s Commissariat of Education)- the nationalization of cinemas and larger studios (for some years private and state film companies coexisted) Association of Revolutionary Cinematography (ARC; Dziga Vertov) – more political/ideological control over the production process- young Soviet directors wanted total break with past film industry and its reliance on theatre and literature - Soviet cinema of the 1920s – a reflection of the ideology - Russian cinema prior to 1907 – 1917 – melodramas; the dominance of American, French and German films- the development of Soviet montage cinema of the 1920s – linked to general debates about the specificity of cinema; the search for unique language of film (first French avant-garde, German Expressionism); cinema was still being compared with other arts (theatre, painting, literature, music); a revolt against the dominance of classical Hollywood narrative (see European art cinema) Soviet Montage Cinema versus Classical Hollywood Mode of Narration – a protest against socio-political situation, a strong critique of political system, unlike the classical Hollywood (Sirk and a very subtle critique of society)- Classical Hollywood cinema – particular characters; Soviet cinema – no individual heroes but a mass of people, Eisenstein’s ‘typage’ (the use of non-actors but certain ‘types’)- events are not motivated by individuals– a heavy reliance on the close-up; the influence of D.W. Griffith – symbolism and metaphor, hidden, coded meanings (the critique of Eisenstein’s films as too intellectual) Sergei Eisenstein (1898 – 1948) – maximum of impact could be achieved if shots in the scene were in conflict – dialectical, intellectual montage: shot A combined with shot B does not produce AB but the meaning C; thesis+anti-thesis= synthesis- cinema of attractions – the viewer must be shocked by the scenes in the film; the power of cinema rests in the ability to create intense emotional impact; how does film affect an audience? - typage – an anti-psychologist depiction of persons- stylized lighting, costumes etc; expressive movement - cinema as synthesis of the arts- montage – juxtaposing images - aesthetics and propaganda- historical and political dramas addressed to a wider audience- although he employed techniques of rapid montage and graphic composition, his work also dealt with emotions – disgust, anger, triumph etc – much more sympathetic to Hollywood (Ford and Disney) unlike many Europeans avant-garde filmmakers Dziga Vertov (1896 – 1954) – montage can be applied not just to fiction film but also in documentary - the power of cinema came from a mechanical recording of events but his films were also carefully constructed in the spirit of Soviet montage- began with agit-prop newsreels in 1918-19 but became influenced by Left Constructivism of Vladimir Tatlin, Alexandr Rodchenko and Italian Futurism - opposed to historical dramas of Eisenstein and instead held that - cinema about ‘life caught unawares’ (see Bazin)- communist understanding of reality- film to reveal the processes of reality - a key figure for 60s avant-garde (eg Godard) – rejection of drama and acting and his more radical view of role of perception in revolutionary change- film called attention to itself – Vertov highlighted the filmmaking process itself Montage versus Realism, Bazin’s ‘The Evolution of the Language of Cinema’ - in opposition to montage as a destruction of reality in cinema; montage=manipulation, thus non-realist- for Bazin cinema was essentially a realist medium- deep focus, long shots – give the impression of reality in film; montage destroys it- ‘invisible’ montage – American cinema Bibliography: Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson, ‘Soviet montage (1924 – 1930)’ and ’Man with a Movie Camera’, Film Art. An Introduction (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 2001) Joyce, Mark, ‘The Soviet montage cinema of the 1920s’, Jill Nelmes, ed., An Introduction to Film Studies (London and New York: Routledge, 2002) Eisenstein, Sergei, Film Form (New York: Harcourt Publishers Limited, 1969 http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&xhr=t&q=sergei+eisenstein&cp=8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbo=u&tbs=bks:1&source=og&sa=N&tab=wp&fp=6480edfd7d3a1661 http://www.google.co.uk/#sclient=psy&hl=en&tbs=bks:1&q=dziga+vertov&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&fp=6480edfd7d3a1661 THE ESSAY SHOULD INCLUDE: Introduction, Main text, Conclusion. Quotations, Footnotes, Illustrations, Bibliography. It should be written in academic English (proper spelling and grammar PLEASE!). All illustrations must be named as Fig.1 (Fig. 2. Etc..). Quotations should not be merely used to stand in for something that you wanted to say anyway: they should be used to back up your argument. You need to justify their inclusion by building them into your discussion. Do not write everything you know on the subject but shape your material to address the essay question. Frame issues and use your material to support or contradict these positions. A good essay would contain theoretical or critical content analysing relevant issues for your essay question. It is essential your essay is well referenced. Please footnote your work carefully; essay should include about 30 footnotes, plus specific page numbers, including some extended references to discuss your sources. All internet sources must be referenced too. Biographies of the directors are relevant only if directly relevant for this work or put it in your footnotes. Please be sure to include images, references and a bibliography. Please use journal articles and some primary source material.PLEASE USE FOOTNOTES!
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