SOVIET MONTAGE 

 

Watch the above video and familiarize yourself with the history of montage as well as the eisenstein's theory

Specifically:

  • METRIC: Cutting by exact measurement, irregardless of the content of the shot
  • RHYTHMIC: Based on continuity--creates visual continuity from shot to shot.
  • TONAL: Uses the emotional meaning of the shots to elicit a reaction from the audience 
  • OVERTONAL: more than one type of montage occurs simultaneously--creating an overall meaning
  • INTELLECTUAL: strategy uses shots that are combined to evoke new meaning that would not exist if shown separately.

You should be able to find examples of each of these in the following sequence:

Look for Tonal, Overtonal, and Intellectual Montage in the following sequence from Blue Velvet:

In the above scene there are indicators of an idyllic, safe, (white), rural setting and at a certain point, there is an indicator that not everything is what it seems. There are flowers, picket fences, 50's music, crossing guards, and a fire truck and then a gun appears on television. After that, a man has a heart attack, and we see the camera go below the grass and into a hellscape of insects fighting with each other. If you list all of the elements, the intellectual and tonal communication becomes clear. There is something awful below the surface of the white rural imaginary.

Last summer, I saw the third season of Twin Peaks and episode 8 out of 18 was basically what I would consider an experimental film. I was fascinated, because I realized what so much of Lynch's work has been about: our collective mythology regarding post-war America and the nightmare on which it was built. Set to "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima" the sequence starts with an incredibly long shot of an atomic bomb. The camera moves forward and enters the explosion uncovering a frenzy of scratched surfaces, explosions, and unrest. In some ways the scene is communicating something similar to the opening sequence of Blue Velvet.