The Soviet Montage School and the German expressionist cinema was a sort of resistance to the Hollywood film culture which almost always dominated the world cinema. It was after World War 1 that Hollywood became the nerve centre of the world commercial cinema .Hollywood conceived film production as a factory system and directors and other technicians including the actors were considered as mere links of the conveyor belt of production…
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They produced films which were dream like with flawless linear narrative and with little relation with the realities of life outside the theatre. They conceived of a star system to help the marketing of these films. Hollywood films were exported all around the world and just after the World War 1 Hollywood Cinema was the major influence in the world of cinema globally. Both the German expressionism as well as the Soviet Montage movement countered this Hollywood supremacy and its concept of Cinema. The Soviet Montage: Cinema had evolved a language through the classics of Edwin Porter (The Great Train Robbery – 1905) and D.W Griffith (Birth of a Nation -1915), both of course from Hollywood. But it was the era of silent Soviet cinema of the 20s that gave this language a grammer.The grammer is decided by the director and not by the actor. Actor, unlike in the Hollywood star system was yet another object in front of the camera. After the 1917 October revolution, young film makers in Soviet Union, began working on building a new cinema for the new society. They experimented with the camera and with the shots on the edit table. Lev Kuleshov (1899-1970) was the leader of these experiments in the State Film School. His famous experiment with the stock shot of the face of the actor Ivan Mosjoukin proved that a single shot generated no particular meaning. Two shots juxtaposed and clashing with each other generate a concept or idea in the mind of the spectator. Thus cinema happens not on the screen but in the mind of the spectator. Sergei Eisenstein, the most famous disciple of Kuleshov, clarifies it like this: “A work of art understood dynamically is just a process of arranging images in the feelings and minds of the spectator (Word and Image, Film Sense PP 17). Vsevolod Pudovkin (Mother -1926) and Dziga Vertov (The Man with a Movie Camera -1929) were the other disciples of Kuleshove. Battleship Potemkin: Sergei Eisenstein is not only a master film maker, but also one of the most prominent film theoretician in the history of world cinema. He developed the concept of montage further and found out five different types of montage possible-- Metric Montage which concentrates on the contradictory lengths of the shots, Rhythmic Montage which concentrates on the contradictory movements within the shot, Tonal montage based on the contradiction of color tones or emotional tones, Over tonal Montage depending on the over tones / under tones of color and Intellectual montage, consequential images juxtaposed and generating an intellectual idea. Battleship Potemkin made in 1925 carries all the five types of montages at different stages of the development of the film and hence is a text book for the Soviet Montage theory. The film is based on the incidents of 1905 revolution. The crew of a battleship revolts against the officers on account of bad meat served to them. The officers oppress the revolt and the leader of the rebellion is killed. But the rebellious crew captures the control of the ship which moves to the port of Odessa. The people of the port town join the rebels and start sending the badly needed supplies to the rebellious ship. Suddenly the military appears to take revenge against the people, and the people are shot down brutally on the steps of Odessa. The battle ship returns fire to the military head quarters. The guns are
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“Studies in International Film Critical Analysis Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/environmental-studies/1415080-studies-in-international-film-critical-analysis.
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