Google remembers montage-master Eisenstein


Those who love films can’t forget the name Sergei M Eisenstein, the father of Montage theory and the practitioner.  Today is his 120th birth anniversary. Google honored this great Soviet film director on his 120th birth anniversary with a doodle. On The doodle we can see a series of film rolls in movement depicting iconic imagery in some of Eisenstein's films.

A closer look into the doodle shows sequencing of a number of images in a continuous loop creating the effect of a montage.

The doodle also shows Sergei Eisenstein, holding a film roll and a scissors depicting a cut or an edit.

The Russian genius changed the way films were made as early as in the 1920s.

It is a reminder of his enduring contributions to cinema. The montage cut. A specific use of film editing. Eisenstein's writings and films have made a major impact on subsequent filmmakers. He believed that editing could be used for more than just expounding a scene or moment, through a "linkage" of related images. Eisenstein felt the "collision" of shots could be used to manipulate the emotions of the audience and create film metaphors. He thought that an idea should be derived from the juxtaposition of two independent shots, bringing an element of collage into film.

The avant-garde filmmaker was born on this day in 1898. He left behind a rich legacy that is complex and in many ways, immeasurable.


Film montage is an editing technique that pieces together a series of frames to form a continuous sequence that is used at several defining moments in films -- you can easily recall some of it in "The Godfather", "The Karate Kid", that was refined in the early 20th century by the Soviet director.

Eisenstein was born to a middle-class family in Riga, Latvia then part of the Russian Empire in the Governorate of Livonia. Young Eisenstein started off in the footsteps of his father and took up architecture and engineering, he later joined the Red Army to serve the Bolshevik Revolution.

In 1920 Eisenstein moved to Moscow, and began his career in theatre. He started working as a designer in Moscow.

Eisenstein's films are politically loaded and they galvanised cinema of the former Soviet Union and beyond with their bold narrative approach, stylistic flourishes, dramatic use of cinematography, editing and music, and marriage between ideology and the craft of filmmaking.

"Strike" in 1925, "Battleship Potemkin" (1925), "October" (1928), "Que viva Mexico!" (1930, released in 1979), "Alexander Nevsky" (1938) and "Ivan The Terrible" (1944 and 1958) demonstrate Eisenstein's genius, his contributions to the art of editing through his theories on montage, and his ability to transcend propaganda to create enduring art.

Describing his cinematic vision, Google said, "His films were also revolutionary in another sense, as he often depicted the struggle of downtrodden workers against the ruling class."

He was only 50, when he died following a heart attack on February 11, 1948.

Image Credits: Google


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