Beyond the shot [the cinematographic principle & the ideogram]

Report
Sergei Eisenstein
From Film Form
BEYOND THE SHOT [THE
CINEMATOGRAPHIC PRINCIPLE &
THE IDEOGRAM]
 Cinema is:
 so many firms
 so much working capital
 such & such a ‘star’
 so many dramas
 First and foremost, montage
 Japanese cinema is well provided with firms, actors &




plots
Ts’ang Chieh in 2650 BC, the first ‘contingent’ of
hieroglyphs
Copulation- the combination of 2 hieroglyphs regarded as
their product
Combination corresponds to a concept
This is montage!
 Do in cinema, juxtaposing representational shots
 The starting-point for ‘intellectual cinema’
 Japan possesses the most laconic forms of poetry,
the hai-kai & the tanka
 Figurative effect
 The hai-kai is a concentrated Impressionist sketch
 We see these as montage phrases, montage lists
 Finished representation of another order, the
psychological
 In emotional terms
 Born from a cross between the figurative mode &
the denotative purpose
 Sharaku was the creator of the finest prints of the





18th century
Same Daumier whom Balzac (the Bonaparte of
literature) in turn caled the ‘Michelangelo of
caricature’
We reassemble the disintegrated phenomena into a
single whole but from our own perspective
This dual divergence in yet a fourth sphere – theatre
The theatre is in its cradle – present in parallel
form, in a curious dualism
The denotation of the action is carried out by the
so-called Joruri, a silent puppet on the satge
 This antiquated practice passes into the early





Kabuki theatre, preserved to this day, as a partial
method, in the classical repertoire
The shot, a tiny rectangle with some fragment of
an event organized within it
Glued together, these shots form montage
The shot is an element of montage
Montage is the assembling of these elements
The shot is a montage cell
 Conflict between 2 neighbouring fragments: Conflict,






Collision
A graduate of the Kuleshov school defends the
concepts of montage as a series of fragments in a
chain, ‘Bricks’ – expound an idea serially
Opposed him with the view of montage as a collision,
the view that the collision of 2 factors gives rise to an
idea
Montage is conflict, lies at the basis of every art
Conflict within the shot, can take many forms
Close-ups & long shots
The reduction of all the properties
Sergei Eisenstein
From Film Form
THE DRAMATURGY OF FILM FORM
[THE DIALECTICAL APPROACH
TO FILM FORM
 Dialectical materialism - PHILOSOPHY
 In form – produces ART
 Synthesis that evolves from the opposition between
thesis & antithesis
 FOR ART IS ALWAYS CONFLICT
 Its social mission
 Its nature
 Its methodology
 The hypertrophy of purposeful initiative – of the
principle of rational logic – leaves art frozen in
mathematical technicism
 The interaction between the 2 produces and





determines the dynamic
The basis of distance determines the intensity of the
tension
The spatial form of this dynamic is the expression
of the phases in its tension – rhythm
‘Architecture is frozen music’
Together with the conflict of social conditionality
& the conflict of reality, principle of conflict serves
as the foundation stone for the methodology of art
Because of its methodology: shot & montage are
the basic elements of film
MONTAGE
 Lev Kuleshov, adding individual shots to one
another like building blocks
 Movement within these shots & the resulting
length of the pieces regarded as rhythm
 Mesendick system VS. Bode school
 Not next to the one it follows, but on top of it
 Ex. The phenomenon of spatial depth as the optical
superimposition of two planes in stereoscopy arises
MONTAGE
 Material ideogram set against material ideogram produces





transcendental result (concept)
The degree of incongruity determines the intensity of
impression, determines the tension, become authentic
rhythm
I. linear: Fernand Léger, Suprematism
II. ‘anecdotal’
III. Primitive Italian Futurism lies somewhere
between I & II
IV. It can be of ideographic kind. Characterisation of
a Sharaku (18-century Japan)
The resolution of the representation
Finally, colour
Move from the realm of the spatial-pictorial to the realm of
the temporal-pictorial
VISUAL COUNTERPOINT
 The relationship between the three: conflict
within a thesis (an abstract idea)
 Is formulated in the dialectic of the title
 Is formed spatially in the conflict within the shot
 Explodes with the growing intensity of the conflict
montage between the shots
VISUAL COUNTERPOINT
 Conflict between matter & shot (achieved by spatial
distortion using camera angle)
 “Meaning from their juxtaposition”
 Conflict between matter & its spatiality (achieved by
optical distortion using the lens)
 Conflict between an event & its temporality (achieved
by slowing down & speeding up
 Conflict between the entire optical complex & a quite
different sphere
 The conflict between optical & acoustic experience
produces: SOUND FILM which is realizable as
AUDIO-VISUAL COUNTERPOINT
FILM SYNTAX
 I. Each moving piece of montage in its own
right
II. Artificially produced representation of
movement
 A. Logical: example 2. Potemkin (1925),
Sensation of a shot hitting the eye
B. Alogical: example 3. Potemkin
 Marble lions – one sleeping, one waking, one rising
 The examples have shown primitive-psychological
cases – using only the optical superimposition of
movement
FILM SYNTAX
 III. The chains of psychological association.
Associational montage (1923-4). As a means
of sharpening (heightening) a situation
emotionally
 By analogy this dynamization of the material
produces, not in the spatial but in the
psychological, i.e. the emotional field
EMOTIONAL DYNAMISATION
 Unleashes a process that, in terms of its form, is identical






to a process of logical deduction
The conventional descriptive form of the film becomes a
kind of reasoning
Develops the emotions
Directing the entire thought process
This form that is best suited to express ideologically
critical theses
SYNTHESIS OF ART AND SCIENCE
Lenin’s statement ‘of all the arts… cinema is the most
important.’

similar documents