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EISENSTEIN’S FIVE TYPES OF MONTAGE

Sergei Eisenstein talks about five different methods of montage through out his work. These varieties of montage build one upon the other so the “higher” forms also include the approaches of the “simpler” varieties.

THESE ARE THE FIVE:

Metric – Where the editing follows a specific number of frames, this is based purely on the physical nature of time, cutting to the next shot no matter what is happening within the image. The reason for this is to get an emotional reaction from the audience.

Rhythmic – The cutting happens for the sake of continuity. This creates visual continuity but it may also be used in order to keep with the pace of the film. A good example of this is the the legendary car/train chase scene in The French Connection.

Tonal – A tonal montage uses the emotional meaning of the shots. Not just manipulating the temporal length of the cuts or its rhythmical characteristics. The point of this is to elicit a reaction that is more complex than Rhythmic and Metric. An example of this is in one of Eisenstein’s fllms called Battleship Potemkin where the character ‘Vakulinchuk’ dies.

Overtonal/Associational – An accumulation of metric, rhythmic, and tonal montage to synthesise its effect on the audience for an even more abstract and complicated effect.

Intellectual – Uses a combination of shots from outside the film in order to create a meaning. A good example of this would be the scene from apocalypse now where Klutz is being executed. They mix in shots of a water buffalo being slaughtered.

 

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