Einsenstein’s Essay

Describes 5 methods of montage that build each other.

  1. Metric Montage – describes absolute length of the piece. Tension is obtained by effect of mechanical acceleration by shortening the piece the piece while keeping the original proportion. Producing a quantitative effect that can be reduced to a mathematical formula.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLEE2UL_N7Q
  2. Rhythmic Montage – Movement within the frame.
  3. Tonal Montage – Next stage from rhythmic montage, movement perceived in a wider space as well as in the frame. Ths montage is based on the emotional sound of the piece.
  4. Over-tonal Montage
  5. Intellectual Montage


Soviet montage – type of film theory. Focused on understanding and creating cinema. Uses specific film editing techniques.

Created in soviet union during 1920’s.

Pioneered by Alexander Dovzhenko, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov, most famously, Sergei Eisenstein.

Revolutionized the idea of film for entertainment to artwork.

Lev Kuleslov

Early Soviet director.

One of first film theorists of montage.

Worked prior to Eisenstein.

Editing was viewed as manipulation of the audience and the film.

Interested by how juxtaposition .could change how the audience felt about an actor.

Kuleshov Experiment

Inter cuts a single shot of one actor with various images. Played it for the audience. Audience praised the actors talent, subtle change of facial expression to each image. Although he did not. Showed film as fragments put together to alter the audiences mood.


Student of Kuleshov’s.

Famously went on state “The foundation of film art is editing.”

Theory focused on juxtaposition of shots through editing and comparison of objects in mise-en-scene.

Saw actors more as objects on the screen rather than acting.

Montage was the key to showing emotion in the scene and actor by showing their relation to the object.


Eisenstein – Instance of conflict – conflict in narrative as cut together through the shots. Sometimes disrupting the flow of the narrative.

Pudovkin – disagreed. He would cut parts of the film to intentionally disrupt the narrative. View of emotion was to create a powerful emotion – wanted to build on emotion through editing and narrative.


Focuses less on emotion. Seen to be essential to soviet theory of montage.

Created plot of film through editing of the shots.

The composition of shots created the story line, it’s left open to the audience.

Mechanical eye – Kino-eye.

Shows the world as how only that person sees it. Creation a fresh perception.

Also offering an alternative view to Eisenstein’s view.

Montage means organizing film fragments (shots) into a film-object. It means writing something cinematic with the recorded shots. It does not mean selecting the fragments for “scenes” (the theatrical bias) or for titles (the literary bias). Every kino-eye production is subject to montage from the moment the theme is chosen until the film’s release in its completed form. In other words, it is edited during the entire process of film production. (Vertov in Michelson, 1984: xxix-xxx)