Time to Get Baptized!!

Posted by on Dec 07 2011 | Content Writing

Many of my friends often ask me to be in love as soon as possible. It sounds like some last ritual that has to be performed before doomsday. Although I have all respect for all those who are in love, right now! What I have learnt from my experience (till now) is that everything in this human life is transitory. Nothing seems to be a permanent epitaph on the human tenure in the blue planet. However, when it comes to be in love with someone, for me it does not adhere to the boundaries of human relationships. It is about the respect and admiration that has developed itself over the last few years and has become a hardcore necessity for my survival. Please stop having any other train of thoughts, pull the chain, sit back and relax. What I am talking about here is my first and last love of my life – films. I won’t deny that I enjoyed films from my childhood, but the level of maturity is what makes all the difference.

If you are having the typical image of a fat guy sitting on a couch, munching popcorn while he gets himself glued on the television – time for some reality check!!! I do not love eating while watching movies…till something good comes up. Watching movies altogether is a different experience; no other pleasure can match its magic. What I wanted to talk about here today is about a movie which is considered to be the pioneer in few cinematic techniques often used by the modern filmmakers of the film fraternity of the world. This particular movie inspired major cinematic sequences which are still used to add various colors of pathos, suspense, torture and other war-like situations. Well, if you watch the sequence even today, you won’t just stop praising the filmmaker in being able to craft such wonderful sequences with such precision during those times.

What is Montage Filmmaking?

The theory of ‘Montage filmmaking’ acquired a new meaning in Soviet filmmaking culture. For most of the Soviet filmmakers, ‘Soviet montage theory’ was used as a crucial tool to render a final design to a film. Most of the Soviet filmmakers used ‘montage’ as a tool to symbolize a completely new idea by colliding two different concepts. This was what Sergei Eisenstein, a veteran Russian filmmaker, vouched as the ideal montage technique to be used in films. Previously, montage was considered to be another name of editing. However, it was Sergei Eisenstein who changed the entire concept of ‘montage’ and is still being used by the filmmakers of the present era.

Sergei Eisenstein’s Contribution

Sergei Eisenstein’s classic work “Battleship Potemkin” earned him accolades for unique filmmaking techniques which he used in the film. The film was based on the 1905 Russian mutiny which took place in the Russian battleship Potemkin. The Russian sailors in the ship rebelled against the Czarist officers in the ship. With respect to the strike that was taking place in Russia, the entire Battleship Potemkin crew was unified with the rebellion attitude. After the crew is served with meat infested with maggots, the rebellion is sparked off. Gregory Vakulinchuk, one of the crew members stands in front of the Czar marines ready to shoot the crew members. However, Vakulinchuk’s request is not being paid heed to and is killed by the marines. Thereafter the rebellion starts taking its actual shape. This rebellion had its repercussions in the country also which led to the famous ‘Odessa sequence’ in the film. The ‘Odessa Sequence’ has been used by a number of filmmakers in order to give their films an extra edge of thrill, suspense and pathos.

The Well Known ‘Odessa Sequence’

The ‘Odessa Sequence’ in the film is the much talked about sequence which reflects the mastery of Sergei Eisenstein. Here, a group of Czar Soldiers open fire on the people who had gathered to protest against the murder of their beloved Vakulinchuk in Battleship Potemkin. Few shots used in the sequence are considered to be classic themselves as they paved the way of experimenting with various camera techniques. Shots of a baby falling down through the staircase, mayhem all over, a kid getting shot and then being overrun by people, bloodshed all over – all these were used with such mastery that even today, the film seems to be a new experience for all of us. Sergei Eisenstein made the film as a propagandist film, as he himself was a communist. A number of sequences in the film have been used where communism has been portrayed as the savior of the entire human civilization.

Though World Cinema has come a long way from its clichéd concepts of revolutionary and war films, but people like Sergei Eisenstein and their works will continue to inspire newer experiments in the field of filmmaking. For all those who want to get infected with the bug of filmmaking, watching “Battleship Potemkin” is no less than ‘baptizing’ yourself.

2 comments for now

2 Responses to “Time to Get Baptized!!”

  1. Isha

    Seems interesting.. after watching some of the scenes from the movie i wonder what Sergei Eisenstein would have done in today’s technologically advanced time :o

    07 Dec 2011 at 5:03 am

  2. Sid

    True, he was way ahead of his time and i thoroughly enjoyed the movie…:)

    07 Dec 2011 at 5:09 am

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