Narrative vs. Montage Essay

1096 Words 5 Pages
Each film has a distinct purpose associated with it. Whether this purpose is as simple as teaching children a valuable lesson or as complex as criticizing a society’s barriers, there are explicit goals which must be discerningly conveyed. There are specific elements to filmmaking which are designed to contribute to the goals set forth when making a film. Such elements include what would be considered “aesthetics of astonishment,” or striking images, editing conflict and other techniques associated with montage filmmaking. Each of these techniques imprint a thought or logic on a film – a kind of “watermark” – that pushes the film itself towards the accomplishment of the original goals. Regardless of the need
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Rather, the viewer then sees two separate events taking place, and may even wonder why the secondary event is even a part of the scene. If this occurs, the montage element no longer strengthens the film’s essence, and the narrative element deteriorates. Eisenstein notes that “This method may decay pathologically if the essential viewpoint – the emotional dynamisation of the material – gets lost. Then it ossifies into lifeless literary symbolism and stylistic mannerism” (FTC 37). Many other directors agree, and parallelism is a technique seldom used in films today.
     One alternative to parallelism is conflict. Despite the opposing contexts of the words themselves, conflict has just as much potential to be a major contributor to the accomplishment of the goals associated with any given film. Conflict in lighting, for example can depict a clash of thought or emotion within a scene. Since the amount of light in a specific frame unconsciously sets a tempo on a physiological level (FTC 28), a clash between a dark frame and a bright frame will startle a viewer subconsciously. Darker frames tend to convey a more mellow and somber mood, whereas a bright frame seems to have more “hustle and bustle” going on in it. In Casablanca, during the flashback of Paris, viewers see a calm, peaceful interaction between the two main characters. The frame is dimly lit to create a very relaxed atmosphere. Then without any warning whatsoever, the
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