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Archive for May 8th, 2015

1983 Our Century.mp4_snapshot_00.06_[2015.05.08_10.05.34]

by Allan Fish

(USSR 1983 47m) not on DVD

Aka. Mer dare

a + b + c + ab = 0

d/w/ed  Artavazd Peleshian

Whatever happened to montage, as many film students have asked?  It became a noun is the simple answer, adapted outside of its meaning by Hollywood, no longer anything to do with the old film theory equations; where Pudovkin believed montage meant that one shot followed by another gave a combined meaning (a+b=ab), Eisenstein argued that instead the first two shots gave a third meaning (a+b=c).  It all became literally academic, for these schools of montage gradually evaporated with the coming of sound.

It would be a director, appropriately from the old Soviet Union, who would sound the death knell for old school montage.  Artavazd Peleshian is an elusive figure in every sense, who made just nine films in a 28 year career, with a care taken over each to rival Andrei Tarkovsky.  The difference being all Peleshian’s films run to less running time combined than Andrei Rublev alone.  Peleshian became known – where he is known, for in the west he’s still neglected – for inventing ‘distance montage’, an appropriately  detaching methodology where montage was used to reduce meaning to nothing, where each individual shot meant nothing; the finished film was the meaning. (more…)

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