Eisenstein And Vertov

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Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov are among the most identifiable names in early Soviet film. Their contributions to film, in the areas of montage and documentary film respectively, have helped to structure film, as we know it today. However, apart from their theoretical contributions to the field, both directors played an imperative role in Soviet film during the 1920s and 1930s. This paper examines historical revisionism within their film, how their theories of montage influenced the revisionism, and how they were persistent in the use montage throughout their careers as filmmakers to assert themselves as artists. Both Eisenstein and Vertov used montage in their films to generate revisionist histories of the Soviet Union. Though both were…show more content…
Nearly every scene contains numerous examples of montage, and thus it is a particularly suitable case study for understanding how Eisenstein put his theory of montage into practice. Several examples are especially relevant. The symbol of the statue of Tsar Alexander III, which is initially tom down, but later reassembled through montage, provides a clear example of montage. Secondly, the significance of montage in the famous metal peacock scene in which Eisenstein compares the Provisional Government to a preening peacock demands analysis. Finally, in Eisenstein’s book on film theory, Film Form, he identifies the “sequence of the ‘gods’” as a distinct example of intellectual…show more content…
First, the proletariat is responsible for tearing down the statue of Alexander III. Thus, the revolutionary body of the working class itself is responsible for the first step towards socialism rather than being directed by a revolutionary leader. Secondly, the Provisional Government, appears counter revolutionary and comparable to the tsar. According to Eisenstein, the Provisional Government’s resemblance to the autocracy is simply the inevitable result of an incomplete revolution. Thus, montage is used to convey political ideology, but also forms the content of the film. Eisenstein’s use of montage lets the statue become more than a simple symbol representative of the tsarist rule, but rather as a means of expressing the need for complete revolution. Without the use of montage, the statue’s meaning would have been far more limited, and thus far less prominent within the film. In this case, Eisenstein’s use of montage influences the film’s visible content as well as its meaning in a way that political ideology alone would not
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