What is the Soviet Montage?

Russia went and had a revolution in 1917 and cinema was a big part of its aftermath. Even though film stock was hard to come by, we saw the first film school started, and the study of the film became hugely important. Russian filmmakers started trying to understand the power of the cut itself, thus developing a theory of filmmaking based solely on the juxtaposition of images: Soviet Montage. In this episode of Crash Course Film History, Craig talks us through some of the film things going on in post-revolution era Russia.

“The idea of montage triggers memories of family reunions, summer camp, fond times looked back upon with wistfulness. A typical person would consider montage and then recall the videos often created to summarize a specific time spent, such as a great summer filled with fun activities, or embarrassing family photos brought out each holiday season. However, montage is a serious tool of filmmakers and has been for many years. One of the most interesting and different theories of montage is known as Soviet montage.

Soviet montage is the editing of clips or photos together in order to get a certain point across. The goal of soviet montage is to create an idea which is clearer when all the images are viewed together than when they are viewed separately ( Johnson). Although only around 30 films have ever been made in this style, it is considered to be a very important and influential theory of film (Trischak). Soviet montage was first pioneered in Russia post revolution, but before Stalin took power (Barrance).” – https://filmstudies.info/terminology/manuscripts/soviet-montague.html