Soviet montage theory - Wikipedia
Sergei Eisenstein shot ¡Que viva México! in Mexico in 1931 at the height of the Great Depression. The financiers of this project were the author Upton Sinclair, his wife Mary Craig and a small group of their friends. They had great difficulties in keeping the production going; the economic crisis forced Sinclair to call a halt to it in early 1932. Shooting was stopped with most of the work completed; only one episode could not be filmed. At the same time Josef Stalin insisted on Eisenstein's return to the Soviet Union.
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Two films utilizing Eisenstein's film footage were made with Upton Sinclair's permission: Thunder over Mexico made in 1933 by Sol Lesser and Time in the Sun, made by Mary Seton in 1939/40. In the 1950s, Sinclair deposited the unedited materials of Eisenstein's film with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the subsequent work of Jay Leyda to make them accessible.
In "collision Montage," Eisenstein foresaw the possibility of an "intellectual" cinema. It would attempt not to tell a story but to convey abstract ideas, as an essay or political tract might. He dreamed of filming Karl Marx's Capital, creating concepts through images and editing rather than through verbal language. Certain of his films took first steps toward intellectual filmmaking.
Psychoanalytic film theory occurred in two distinct waves
"In 1920, Vertov toured the south-western front on an agit-train which carried a print of his first, complete, edited film: October Revolution. Whilst on the move, Vertov also shot new footage of events at the front, and, when he returned to Moscow, he edited this footage into a series of films which formed the basis of his Kinopravda ('film truth') newsreel series. The Kinopravda both addressed contemporary political issues, and continued the exploration of filmform which had arisen from the work of those involved with the agitka. This provided Vertov with the theoretical and practical foundation for the development of his first film manifesto: ‘Kinoki: Perevoret’ (Kinoks: A Revolution), which was published by Mayakovsky, Nikolai Aseyev and Osip Brik in Lef in 1923. However, Vertov’s manifesto, in which he went so far as to declaim that "what we have so far done in the cinema is 100 per cent mistaken", displayed a degree of avant-gardism which was soon to bring him into conflict with the Soviet authorities.
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Eisenstein, Kuleshov, Pudovkin, Vertov, and the FEKS group were the principal early exponents of Soviet Montage. Other directors picked up their influences and developed the style. In particular, filmmakers working in the non-Russian republics enriched the Montage movement. Foremost among these was , the principal Ukrainian director. Dovzhenko had been in the Red Army during the civil war and served as a diplomatic administrator in Berlin in the early 1920s. There he studied art, returning to the Ukraine as a painter and cartoonist. In 1926, he suddenly switched to filmmaking and made a comedy and a spy thriller before directing his first Montage film, , in 1927. Based on obscure Ukrainian folk legends, Zvenigora baffled audiences but demonstrated an original style that emphasizes lyrical imagery above narrative. Dovzhenko went on to make two more important Montage films, and (Earth), also set in the Ukraine."
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Originally published in French, Althusser’s essay theorized the fundamental operation of ideology as the formation of the subject. Though Althusser was not a psychoanalyst or a psychoanalytic theorist, traditional psychoanalytic film theorists took up this idea as foundational for their approach to the cinema and began to see the cinema itself as a place where the spectator was constituted ideologically as a subject. Available .