Tuesday, June 06, 2006

From my film class:

Dialectics is all about conflict and its resolution.

Montage is an arrangement of shots in film. Pudovkin thinks of montage as “the means of unrolling an idea through single shots” (26). Eisenstein disagrees, saying that “montage is an idea that DERIVES from the collision between two shots that are independent of one another” (26)

This collision of ideas gives the viewer a new meaning. Eisenstein was especially successful in representing this idea in the era of the silent film, with hardly any technical innovations. The film showcases a woman in pince-nez glasses and with barely a flutter of film later, the glasses are smashed and blood trickles from the eye, signifying a gunshot. As I think of this, I can’t help but think of more modern uses of this, with disappearances in the TV show Bewitched and the transport beam in Star Trek. Motion is made by the overlap of two images.

When the images lay over each other, the viewer cannot help but think of them together. The sole images do not invoke the meaning, rather, the juxtaposition of these images create the meaning. The most startling example of this idea is the one advanced in the text book of the shooting down of workers and the slaughter of a cow in Strike. Equating the horrid end of a cow to these workers produces a new meaning to the viewer that is stronger than simply seeing the workers gunned down.

Japanese Kabuki theater breaks down movement of the actor to its constituent elements. This can be used through slow motion photography in a film. When you highlight one action at a time, the whole is drawn out, emphasizing the action in greater detail.

An ideogram is one image. Two sole material images combined together achieves a concept that transcends the sole images, a “transcendental result” (27).

Eisenstein thought that sound would act negatively against the images on film. However, Eisenstein failed to realize that sound could be an ideogram itself. Sound can play over an image, or several images, causing another result. A movie soundtrack can greatly add or detract from a scene.

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