Worksheet 3 -- Montage - Worksheet 3 Film History Professor...

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Worksheet 3 - Film History Professor Rohdie (UCF) Montage is a French word literally meaning "to mount", "to assemble" with connotations re- lated to industrial processes, to mechanics, to construction, to the factory. Montage in lm essentially characterised the cinema soon after its ‘birth’, born in France in the mid-1890s with the public projection of lms in Paris by the brothers Lumi re as a means for the sale of their lm camera, initially a device not only for ‘taking’, ‘recording’, ‘capturing’ movement, but proc- essing the celluloid image, a camera and laboratory in a single device. The Lumi re images taken at a xed distance and with a xed camera of moving gures or objects (trains, for ex- ample, or carriages) were, because of that xity, close to practices like theatre, pantomime and photography, that is to areas outside the ‘noble’ arts such as painting, sculpture, literature, especially poetry, and even music. Very soon, without compromising its ‘ignoble’ and ‘popular’ links, lm began to experiment with the construction of scenes composed of di erent points of view, varied distance and subjects. This montage of di erences, assembled together, presented two possibilities. One was to dismantle the xed uni ed scene into fragments and then to reconstitute the scene with these fragments by editing together the di erent perspectives, frames, distances for emphasis and to serve dramatic and narrative ends, that is to say, construction in the service of continuity, sameness, accords and logic albeit by an initial e ort at fragmentation of time and space. For the most part this narrative and naturalist impulse was advanced in the com- mercial dramatic scene, though not in comedies which were more free to experiment pre-
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