The next time you catch yourself tapping your feet or tearing up to a movie montage, thank Sergei Eisenstein.
The Soviet film director was a pioneer in the theory and practice of the montage, a film editing technique involving combining short pieces of film to condense space, time and information. Google celebrated Eisenstein’s contribution on Monday — the 120th anniversary of his birth — with an animated Doodle.
Eisenstein believed the montage was “the nerve of cinema,” finding that a collage of shots could be used to manipulate the emotions of the audience and produce film metaphors. Eisenstein was also a revolutionary in other ways, often depicting the class conflict of downtrodden workers against the ruling class.
In addition to being the father of the movie montage, Eisenstein was also the director of several groundbreaking silent movies, including “Battleship Potemkin,” “Strike” and “The General Line.” Eisenstein influenced generations of filmmakers who followed, including Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma, who mimicked a “Battleship Potemkin” scene in the train station scene in the his 1987 movie “The Untouchables.”
Eisenstein died of a heart attack in 1948 at the age of 50.
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