Analysis Of The Movie ' Workplace Tension '

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Workplace Tension
In his 1916 silent-film Intolerance, D.W. Griffith pioneered editing techniques that helped establish montage as a core component of film language. Griffith set out to unite four disparate storylines under the common theme of love’s eternal battle with intolerance. While Griffith believed this film achieved its goal, some of his contemporaries argued that Intolerance was a “magnificent failure” (Eisenstein, 241). Indeed, Eisenstein proposed that the unification Griffith sought to create was impossible because the juxtaposition of these stories did not create new meaning. Instead, Eisenstein wrote that the lack of conflict between shots prevented the synthesis of a higher meaning, or montage trope. While it is true that Intolerance generally does not accomplish montage trope, especially when referencing Walt Whitman’s Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, where Griffith explicitly attempts it, there are examples of its implementation. Griffith does manage to achieve this higher meaning in the scene depicting a labor strike. Eisenstein’s claim that Griffith never incorporates montage tropes into his films is false as demonstrated by the social criticism in the juxtaposition of the striking mill workers and Mr. Jenkins.
Eisenstein describes montage trope as the juxtaposition of images resulting in a greater abstract meaning. By abstract, Eisenstein means that the significance of the juxtaposition is not confined to the individual images on the screen.

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