Theory of Montage – ‘Potemkin’

by alanlzj


‘The Battleship Potemkin’ was very famous for a long time before. It is almost unbelievable to see it with a fresh eye. This film was made by Sergei Eisenstein in 1925. It was one of the best film in the world. This film also has been motioned as one of the most influential propaganda films in all time.

Battleship Potemkin is about 75 minutes, and used 1350 shots in the film. The story of this film was conceived as part of a cycle of myth-making films intended to tell the story of the revolution. This film was structured on well-formed meaning and montage skills. There are 5 aspects in the film. The first aspect was men and maggots, and followed by drama on the quarterdeck. The third part was an appeal from the dead. After then, were the odessa steps. Finally is the meeting the squadron. Followed by the question from Battleship Potemkin Quiz, Eisenstein’s background is the son of Jewish architect. He was born in 1898, and was a film theorist that always thought to be the leader of montage. His famous silent films were ‘Strike’ (1924), ‘Battleship Potemkin’ (1925), ‘October’ (1927), ‘Historical Epics Alexander Nevsky’ (1938), and ‘Ivan The Terrible’ (1944). In the Battleship Potemkin film, it was using some visual techniques, which are 1. Use of multiple perspectives, 2. Crowd scenes versus individuals, 3. Example of a use of Pavlovian reflexology adapted to biomechanics, 4. A dynamic film passage versus a lyrical passage.

There were two films that influenced by Battleship Potemkin. The first one was ’2001: A Space Odyssey’, which directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1968. Another one was ‘The Untouchables’. This one was created by Brian De Palma in 1987.

The below is a photo montage that I created by four images: