Soviet Montage


Soviet montage refers to an approach to film editing developed during the 1920s that focused, not on making cuts invisible, but on creating meaningful associations within the combinations of shots. Though this theory was explored by many Soviet filmmakers, the most widely accepted is Sergei Eisenstein’s view that “montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent shots” wherein “ each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other.”

Soviet montage includes many different methods of creative editing to elicit different responses. Metric montage cuts shots to a defined number of frames, regardless of what is happening in the image. Rhythmic montage cuts shots based on visual continuity. Tonal montage uses the emotional content of shots to create meaning. Overtonal montage utilizes metric, rhythmic and tonal montage simultaneously to a greater effect, conveying more abstract ideas. Intellectual montage juxtaposes images to elicit cerebral responses rather than emotional ones.

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