Theory into Practice Theories of Montage: Russian Formalism, Kuleshhov, Pudovkin, Eisenstein, Czech Structuralism: “Montage is the foundation of cinematography.” (Kuleshov) Discuss. By Ben Hoy-‐Slot ontage is a theory. It is one that is tied into many aspects of filmmaking, but most prominently those of editing and cinematography. It is a technique that has been exploited to dramatic and remarkable cinematic effect by some of cinema’s most recognised and worshipped auteurs, including Eisenstein, Kuleshov and Pudovkin. Kuleshov’s statement, as it appears in the title for this essay, clearly attempts to define what cinematography is through the means of ‘montage’.
However, after 1924, the USSR was a clear dictatorship, which meant that the culture was controlled by the élite and is used to portray the elite positively. There is no denying that culture performed a political role in the USSR in this time period, as culture is heavily effected by politics and vice versa, and so in this essay, I will be evaluating the extent to which Soviet culture performed a political role in the USSR in the years 1924-1953. Art performed a highly political role in the USSR in the years 1924-1953. In the early years of the Bolshevik state, experimental and abstract art was allowed under Lenin. This all changed however with the change in leadership after 1929 and the emergence of Stalin as the ‘vozhd’.
In critical essays, some of the most important features for the writer to develop are: critical insight (non-obvious ideas or observations that you believe may assist the viewer or reader in “discovering” the films more completely and complexly); originality (putting your own personality and “voice” in your writing); and credibility (your ability to convince the reader that your ideas are sound and interesting). One of the most important things to keep in mind when viewing or considering these films is the question of what you think the director was trying to “say” to the audience with his movie. A movie is usually a visual representation of a narrative story, after all, and if so it should be reasonably coherent and preferably have a “point”
300 might not be historically accurate, but a lot of special effects were added to this movie in purpose of adding a flavor to the screen and to keep the viewers of the movie entertained. The fight scenes are far from what you may call “historically accurate,” but that was Zack Snyder’s intention. 300 This movie will always be remembered, 300 is always going to have an important role in the history of cinematography right next to movies like Casablanca. I absolutely love the movie 300, a lot of film schools take advantage of the great methods that were used to make this movie and use them to teach their students about films. You can count on film schools using 300 as a means to teach film students for many years to come.
Distinguishing Documentary Film Directors: Contrasting and Comparing Throughout the last century, filmmaking has expanded as an art form. New ideas about the way something should be captured, pieced together and tweaked were forming and filmmakers were constantly testing and pushing the boundaries of what was considered the norm. Peter Watkins was among many filmmakers of this era who brought a new style and creativity to the filmmaking world, debuting a whole new genre of film in ‘The War Game’. ‘The War Game’ is a highly commended docudrama based on what could have been the worst case scenario during WWII. Watkins’ work went on to inspire and influence many other films, and is reflected in Michael Moores’ documentary ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, a social docudrama looking at the actions taken by George Bush during his presidency.
Lars Von Trier Lars Von Trier, an important and prominent Danish Auteur director once said in an interview that “for (him), stealing from the cinema is like using letters of the alphabet when you write”. The films of Lars von Trier show that he has had many influences in crafting and producing his films. The given quote helps to understand his approach to film and how he adapts film language, and even creates his own, in order to delivery an intended message to the audience. To be able to understand what is impressive able von Trier’s approach to films and what makes him an Autuer director, we need to be able to understand his influences, which are wide and extensive, so as to be able to comprehend their impact on his style of directing and the structural, technological and thematic explorations in his films. Von Trier was known to be more consistent as a director than he was with his visual style.
‘A bout de souffle’ is caught in a hesitation between two contradictory states: playfulness and death’. Discuss this statement, basing your answer on detailed reference to the film. A Bout de Souffle is Godard’s first feature film and is considered to be one of the initial and most influential movies of the ‘Nouvelle Vague’. This is a term first used by French journalist and politician Francois Giroud (1957) that originally described changes within post World War II in France and French society. Nowadays, it refers to the activity of a group of innovative French filmmakers who rejected the classical notions of filmmaking and instead used cinema as an art form; exploring aspects of society, such as death and playfulness, which incite audiences to think.
More recent schools of thought such as that expressed by Linda Schulte-Sasse3 suggest that filmmakers including Riefenstahl were indeed propagandists, but that this is justifiable in context, therefore that they also ought to be praised for their contribution to culture. The popular school of thought suggests that those viewing Riefenstahl’s films as masterpieces are viewing them “in a vacuum”, without any reference to the context of the time. In Triumph des Willens, for example, Hitler, it is suggested, is deified. Seemingly endless marching scenes are said to glorify the militarisation (against the Treaty of Versailles) of Germany. The content of one of the speeches can be seen to
Movie stars like Charlie Chaplin shined during this time and drastically increased the popularity of movies and brought together the Allied States and created a sense of comfort in a time where comfort was scarcely obtainable. The purposes of propaganda in the war were to unite the civilians and soldiers, to justify the war as a necessity for peace, and to demonize the enemy. In the early stages of the war, the only form of propaganda came in writing in newspaper articles and pamphlets, stressing the need for war and demonizing their enemies to rile up their citizens against them. Once propaganda began to gain emotional power, newspapers and pamphlets turned into posters, cartoons, and caricatures. With propaganda rapidly spreading to different fields of advertising, the addition of film became “the most powerful weapon of propaganda” (856).
Aesthetic, social and technological. From this we shall derive a conclusion as to its relevant interests to the film historian. When we refer to aesthetic film history, we are considering films as an art form. The immediate problem with film history as a study of art is that what constitutes art is subjective in itself. It is very easy to dismiss Titanic as being a ‘formulaic’ Hollywood blockbuster made with the sole intent of making capital, a special effects laden epic combined with a love story.