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Soviet Revolution - Worksheet 12 Film History Professor...

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Worksheet 12 - Film History Professor Rohdie (UCF) If a shot is joined to other shots or a scene (a series of shots) to other scenes in a linear, causa- tive (logical) manner then each shot (or scene) has nowhere else to go, that is, it is constrained to a single place and direction and lacks autonomy, coherence seemingly outweighing chance and possibility. In the scene in Eisenstein’s October of the raising of the bridges in St Petersburg during the street demonstration in support of the Bolsheviks, the sequence of shots, in relation to their content, begins with the demonstrators moving across bridges and into a square where they are machine-gunned by Government troops; the demonstrators break up and begin to ee back across the bridges at the moment when the bridges are ordered to be raised; mean- while, parallel to this event of masses and crowds of people seen at a distance, is the attack, beating and stabbing of a demonstrator by a single soldier and by some women passers-by in their nery (the bourgeois); as the crowds ee across the slowly rising bridges, a horse and carriage begins to cross the bridge. The horse and the woman in the carriage are killed by ma- chine gun re. They fall just at the junction between two halves of a bridge rising, the horse dangling over the edge as is the hair of the woman, while the carriage remains on the hori- zontal, then is along the vertical platform of the bridge. These occurrences seem perfectly legible and dramatically logical in the sense that a certain content is developed centred on the scene of the horse and the conclusion of the scene with the horse falling into the Neva. Nevertheless, other things are happening. There is the graphic play between horizontals (the stationary bridge, the movement of the crowd, the crowd run- ning across the bridge) and verticals (the raising of the bridge, the view from the machine guns), and also a play of volumes and distance (the long shots of the demonstrators and the variable distances, of close and far away centred on the horse and the carriage and the fall of the horse). And further there is the play between what is at and shown in depth, what moves
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