media blog

December 10th, 2010

Soviet Montage School

Posted by kwildermuth in

Pudovkin’s approach included the basic significance of editing.  The object of editing to him was showing the development of characters, by guiding the attention of the audience from scene to scene.  The lens of the camera is the eyes of the viewer.  This is done through contrast, symbolism and parallelism.  The one filming is their thoughts and associations to real life images.  The view of everyday perception.  His thoughts were much more conventional, emotional and narrative than those of Eisenstein’s.

Eisenstein believes the cinema thinks through images.  The clash of shots create sparks in the mind that leaves a concept, idea or emotion.  His ideas were much more “multiculturalist.”  They represented contemporary problems and plowed sexuality and trickery.  Tension in film remained unsolved with oxymoron-thinking. He left a “rich intellectual legacy.” His methods of montage included: metric, rhythmic, tonal, overtonal and intellectual. 

Pudovkin and Eisenstein were apart of the same stylistic movement.  They both emphasized on montage as the basis of the cine-poetics.  This is where the worldwide culture of cinema was first created.  They also were inspired by Griffith.  Although they disagreed in the interpretations of editing. Eisenstein was less interested in the cause-effect plot construction that Pudovkin favored.  This lead to some critics saying his ideas were suffocating and jarring.  However, Eisenstein did have a fascination with montage as construction, through inner speech. He believed the poetics of film theory should match poetics for literature. 

Soviet theorists worked in their own practice. They were concerned with grand ideas and practical questions of constructing a socialist film industry.  Their questions involved: fiction or documentary, mainstream or avant-garde?  They were trained practically, on strict techniques, experiment and construction.  Eisenstein was concerned with beyond the shot and believed filmmakers should work independently to pursue art above all else. 

I happened to enjoy reading Pudovkin’s ideas.  His straight forward thinking was logical and simplistic.  Eisenstein was more avant-garde, different with expressionistic camera angles.  The emotional flow is more appealing to my eye, the sequences and scenarios.  I like the suspense leading to each scene.  Pudovkin thought the real character development took place in the cutting room, rather than before the camera.  I believe this to be true because film is constructed very carefully for the audience to view.

Russian Soviet films should be political, popular and change the way people think.  Page turning, to manipulate people to think a certain way.

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