Montage: The Foundation of Cinematography

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Lev Kuleshov being a Russian film maker majorly talks about Russian Cinema. At the beginning of the First World War Russia’s cinema was fairly large scale to produce merchandise, which went to market place and returned a definite profit. Any number of people leapt into cinematography jumped in for gaining easy profit. Thus, the film workers consisted of a conglomerate of bandits, chiselers - people without any education whatsoever, who were eager to squeeze money out of cinema but who were uninterested in its cultural growth. The question that struck in the mind of Lev Kuleshov and his group was that what really cinematography was? and started searching for an answer. The question was to find the those specific characteristics and those specific means of impressing the viewer , which was only present in cinema and no other art. Other form of art music for example has a definite auditory content in it. The musical materials are fixed by composers into an ordered arrangement, which is harmonic and rhythmic and thus emerge as a musical work. Similarly in painting we have colour in the material form which in all artistic crafts with the means of practice and methods of its organization gives the beauty. So what is the material in cinema which sets cinema apart from other forms of performance and other arts? Superb actors played superb scenes in superb settings but the cameraman did not shot it well. So, what will be the effect???.......nothing. So the main strength of cinema is cinematography. Now the question that was in the mind of Kuleshov was to locate the source of cinematographic impressibility. So, he started analyzing foreign films (mainly American films) and Russian films. By this observations he found out that the techniques of foreign films was much finer than that of Russian films. The source of film’s impact on the viewer was not simply to show the content of certain shots, but the...
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