Reading Film (Fall 2011)

a qwriting blog for ENG 110

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Response To Esinstein

September 14th, 2011 by Stephen Mahoney · 2 Comments · ¶4 Eisenstein

Sorry for being late, I forgot to hit the publish button in word press.

I really enjoyed how Esinstein started off his essay, I like how he started off by defining what in his words was cinema and what cinematography was. I agreed with his differences between the two, for instance how he basically said cinematography adds soul to the production.

I also liked how he thought of cinematography as his definition of a montage, how these simple ideas (or in the case of cinematography shots) combine to create larger more complex ideas. What i did not like was how in depth he went with his examples of montage with the masks and the poetry, it confused me because I was unfamiliar with these examples and it just left me pondering the masks and the poetry and not relating them to cinematography or montage.

Another point he brought up in his essay that i don’t exactly agree with is how he said shots should collide to create a montage instead of having them link together. I think it shouldn’t be a slew of different objects randomly pieced together to create a work, the montage should be somewhat linear. If the work is not linear in the slightest bit it will be harder for the viewer to understand what is happening and also does not allow for foreshadowing.

Also I really don’t believe that his ideas can be successfully applied to writing. I think his ideas conflict with the concept of structure that harvey wrote about. If Esinstein used his collision idea in his writing I think it would be much harder to understand then it is when used in film.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Kevin L. Ferguson

    I’m not sure Eisenstein would say that “collision” necessarily equals “random.” For example, two balls might collide on a pool table, but if the pool player knows what he or she is doing, then the collision isn’t random, but designed to produce an effect. There are filmmakers who did experiment with that idea of randomness, but Eisenstein had a logical reason for every cut between his shots.

    I think I agree with your last paragraph! I bet Eisenstein would write some wacky academic essays–or at least for a freshman class they would not follow the expected conventions…

  • Natalie Bernabe

    I also thought his comparisons and examples ranged from Japanese-influenced articles like haiku and the traditional masks. Although it was insightful ( to say the least), it kind of fell flat in my head like “yea, so what?”. He was also kind of doing a repetitive monologue about hiis collision theory. It shouldn’t be the basis of all films, personally.

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