Film movement overviews

Soviet montage

  • Context: political changes, Russian revolution, 1917- social upheaval
  • Moscow film school opened 1919, first dedicated film school, new theories etc
  • Agitation propaganda, looking into how film can portray certain political ideologies
  • Key principles: belief in films ability to transcend space and time
  • The meaning of film is created not only in its spiritual and temporal composition but in the arrangement of shots in the editing stage
  • Construction of political, economic, social and ideological meaning
  • Privileging of the editing process, film is essentially born in the edit
  • The kuleshov effect- co founder of school, saw editing could abolish real-world constraints, could create events only existed on screen, additional meaning created by audience because of the choice and order of shots.
  • Sergei Eisenstein – 1969, montage, mixture of shots create meaning e.g. battleship Potemkin 1925 (recent from revolution) uprising of people, crucial moment in film- step scene, jump cuts, vibrant, juxtaposing.  ‘strike’ 1925 Eisenstein’s 5 stages of montage: metric, edits based on length, rhythemic based on length and action, tonal length action lighting and shapes within the frame, over tonal


Avant Garde – ie the first

  • European cinema emerging as an established artform
  • Technological and financial means enabled artists ( Dadaists, surrealists) to experiment with film production as a means of expression
  • Today the term ‘experimental cinema’ prevails, as its possible to make experimental films without the presence of any avant-garde techniques.
  • Entr’acte(the in between) 1924
  • Digital degrade to create different meanings.
  • David lynch, twin peaks: fire walk with me (1992)


British kitchen sink drama (British new wave) 1954-1968

Every day locations, normal conditions, normal people

  • Post war, immigration, soci0-economic, political conditions
  • New artistic freedom brought about by technological developments
  • Born out of free cinema documentary and sequence film society (Reisz, Richardson)
  • Look back in anger (1958)
  • Controversial, wouldn’t be shown in cinemas, realistic
  • Everyday stories- interesting and new to audiences,- Saturday night, Sunday morning 1960
  • This sporting life 1963- x rated films of their time- 18 or over


French new wave

  • Born out of post-war French critical film theory
  • Partly a practical response and antidote to the bloated Hollywood epics of the time injecting a sense of immediacy and urgency.
  • Inspired by cinema verite documentary style (realism, truth)
  • Wanted active viewers
  • Film nerds of their generation
  • Jump cuts, vibrant, discontinuity, yet still structured
  • No establishing shots
  • Directors wanted to break up film experience and make it fresh and exciting.
  • Self reflective
  • Auteur theory
  • ‘breathless 1960’

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