Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Soviet Montage and Realism

Soviet Montage and Formalism
What was Pudovkin's concept of constructive editing and how did it manifest itself on film?
He believed that constructive editing should be used in film. Essentially, this meant that every shot had to offer something new to the film, or that every shot had meaning. This was created by adding a lot of detail into each scene which shows how complex life truly is.

In this shot several civilians are marching together. Hoewver, there is one individual in the bottom left corner who is raising a flag of some sort. This minute detail shows that this march is political and most likely refers to freedom since there are several average civilians aggregating. Additionally, that flag gives the carrier an additional characterization of being more nationalistic than most since he is the only one carrying a flag. Those minute details add meaning to the film, and that is how Pudovkin incorporated constructive editing in his films.

What was Eisensteinian Montage and how does it work in the "Odessa Step" sequence?
The Eisensteinian Montage was an editing technique in which abrupt shots transitioned from one another suddenly. Basically, a sense of peace would first be captured, and immediately motion in the shot would challenge the sense of peace and create it into a sense of havoc. This is exemplified in the Odessa Step sequence because at first all of the civilians are very jubilant. Civilians ranging from the upper class to the lower class are all excited for the same exact reason. However, suddenly an army moves towards the civilians who run away from the soldiers. Through the editing, the peaceful tone immediately shifted to a chaotic tone which was created through the quick motion of the soldiers which contrasted the stationary and peaceful movement of the civilians.

Andre Bazin and Realism
What were Andre Bazin's frustrations with Classical and Formalistic film making?
Their frustrations with those genres were that they were too subjective. They imposed an opinion onto the audience which demerits the value of the film. Film is meant to allow us to form our own opinions concerning society, and film merely opens us to an interpretation of what society may be like. Additionally, classical and formalistic film making utilized montages in order to present one view of the director. This takes away from the complexity of life and the fact that there are several interpretations of how life should be lived.

What do Realist filmmakers strive for in their work?
They strive to present their audience with a realistic film in which the audience can form their own opinions of life. Additionally, realist filmmakers love deep focus because it allows them to incorporate immense amounts of detail into their scenes. This detail can then be seen by the audience which further allows them to see how our environment can also describe our nature.

What techniques to realists use in their filmmaking?
Realists use slow paced editing to allow the audience to truly notice all of the detail in the scenes. Additionally, they utilize deep focus in order to present the audience with several minute details in certain scenes. These details work hand in hand with the slow pacing because the audience is given time to observe all of the details. Then, the audience can form their own opinion of the scene which immerses them into the film more. Lastly, the advance in sound capture allowed Realists to add dialogue into their scenes. This further creates a sense of realism.

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