263mc: Montage Techniques

I attended a lecture which focussed on the narrative method of montage. We discussed Eisenstein’s essay on montage, and watched some example videos that included some of the techniques. Some of these methods are:

Metric Montage: This is where the editing process is done to a specific number of frames, and the image is cut regardless of what’s happening. his allows the editing to be created using mathematical formulas and equations, which allows for the most basal and emotional reactions from viewer/audience.

Rhythmic Montage: Similar to Metric montage, rhythmic montage cuts the frames with the composition in mind, meaning that the content of the clips can be considered to bring out a very manipulated reaction form the audience.

Tonal Montage: Is amore complex form of montage beyond Metric and Rhythmic, which incorporates the emotional feeling of the piece in a wider sense, to create feeling and reaction from the audience. For examples a sleeping child would denote calmness, which can be combined with other montage methods to achieve a much wider understanding from the viewer.

Another method of montage within Soviet Montage Theory which combines Metric, Rhythmic and Tonal montage is Overtonal or Associational Montage. This method allows for a much more synthesised reaction from the audience, and can result in very complex montage scenes.

The Oddessa Steps scene from Battleship Potempkin is a great examples of a culmination of montage theories within one scene, and creates a very mixed response from the audience throughout. While I didn’t particularly enjoy the scene (mainly due to it being outdated compared to modern image making), I can appreciate the complexity within the structure of the piece, and how that can be interpreted by the audience at the time to be a very forward thinking piece of cinema.

Montage is a very effective way of presenting a narrative in a unique and ‘experimental’ way, and so I may look to this technique to enhance my own work in some way. By building on the montage theories given here, I can create a piece of work that is both stimulating to a modern audience, but fundamentally is a well crafted piece of experimental cinema.


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