Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Do we have time for a movie montage?
catherine meng asks for favorite movie montages. i have a few. i wrote her the following email, but i figured i'd post it here too, 'cause--for the reason i mention at the end--i really want to hear others' suggestions too. please forgive the lack of capitalization. i just started the list that way and was too lazy to fix it up. i'll put the film titles in italics later

some favorite montages of mine below. i'm using the notion of montage in the strict sense of "communicating to the audience, through the editing-together of disjunctive cinematic images, a meaning which the images themselves don't directly represent." a common special use of montage, which maybe you have in mind instead (& if so, sorry about all the irrelevant examples!), is the representation of change (usually involving a sequence of lap dissolves) over a period of time much greater than the duration of the montage itself (a character's increasing success over years conveyed in large part by dissolving shots of a succession of newpaper headlines; one or more characters really buckling down and training hard for the big event; characters taking a long journey to a new important setting, etc.). it's worth noting, though, that the paradigm montage, eisenstein's odessa steps sequence, actually stretches what must have been (i think) about three minutes of massacring to more like fifteen minutes of film

i have a bunch more 'cause i'm working on a screenplay that's partly about favorite sequences and i've been thinking about mine a lot in the past couple of weeks

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