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Which clippings match 'Staircase' keyword pg.1 of 1
28 JANUARY 2014

Montage theory: the Battleship Potemkin Odessa Steps scene

"Montage––juxtaposing images by editing––is unique to film (and now video). During the 1920s, the pioneering Russian film directors and theorists Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov demonstrated the technical, aesthetic, and ideological potentials of montage. The 'new media' theorist Lev Manovich has pointed out how much these experiments of the 1920s underlie the aesthetics of contemporary video.

Eisenstein believed that film montage could create ideas or have an impact beyond the individual images. Two or more images edited together create a 'tertium quid' (third thing) that makes the whole greater than the sum of its individual parts.

Eisenstein's greatest demonstration of the power of montage comes in the 'Odessa Steps' sequence of his 1925 film Battleship Potemkin. On the simplest level, montage allows Eisenstein to manipulate the audience's perception of time by stretching out the crowd's flight down the steps for seven minutes, several times longer than it would take in real time"

(Glen Johnson)

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1920s1925 • audience perception • Battleship Potemkin (1925)cinematic visual languagecontinuity editing • cross cutting • crowdDziga Vertovediting technique • film aesthetics • film montage • film sequence • ideological potential • juxtapositionLev Manovichmontagemontage theory • narrative design • Odessa Steps • parallel action • parallel cut • parallel editing • parallel textsequence designSergei Eisensteinshot reverse shotstaircasestairwaysteps • tertium quid • third thing • whole is greater than the sum of the parts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 DECEMBER 2012

Influential American experimental cinema: Meshes of the Afternoon

"Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential works in American experimental cinema. A non–narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the 'trance film,' in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects, such as a key and a knife, recur throughout the film; events are open–ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted 'to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately.'

Made by Deren with her husband, cinematographer Alexander Hammid, Meshes of the Afternoon established the independent avant–garde movement in film in the United States, which is known as the New American Cinema. It directly inspired early works by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and other major experimental filmmakers. Beautifully shot by Hammid, a leading documentary filmmaker and cameraman in Europe (where he used the surname Hackenschmied) before he moved to New York, the film makes new and startling use of such standard cinematic devices as montage editing and matte shots. Through her extensive writings, lectures, and films, Deren became the preeminent voice of avant–garde cinema in the 1940s and the early 1950s."

(MoMA, 2004)

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999.

Maya Deren (1943). "Meshes of the Afternoon", 16mm film, black and white, silent, 14 min. Acquired from the Artist.

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16mm1943 • Alexander Hackenschmied • Alexander Hammid • American cinemaavant-garde cinemablack and whiteBolexcinemacinematic devicescloakdeathdream • dream world • dreamlike qualityeditingexperimental cinemaexperimental film • experimental filmmaker • filmfilm pioneerfilmmakerflowerFreudianindependent cinemainfluential directorinfluential worksKenneth Angerkeyknife • matte • Maya Deren • Meshes of the Afternoon • mirrorMoMA • New American Cinema • non-narrativeopen-endedpersonal filmrecurring ideasrepetitionrhythmscreen-mediated virtual spaceseminalsilent filmstaircaseStan Brakhagesurrealist cinemasymbolic meaningsymbolism • Teiji Ito • tranceunconscious desires • unconscious meaning • women in filmwomen in historywordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 MARCH 2012

Jean Cocteau: la Belle et la Bête

"La lumière brillante et surnaturelle qui avait dominé toute la scène du château (flamme des chandeliers, feu, reflets étincelants de l'argenterie) s'estompe pour laisser la place à la lumière naturelle du jour [plan 9] [9]. Ces rayons lumineux rappellent ceux des dernières gravures de la Belle au vois dormant. D'autant plus que cette lumière naturelle n'est pas légitimée par la présence d'une fenêtre, comme c'est le cas chez Doré. C'est une lumière naturelle, la lumière du jour, mais elle semble toujours éclairer le personnage de manière surnaturelle : comment la lumière extérieure peut–elle pénétrer à l'intérieur sans la présence d'aucune fenêtre ? Les flambeaux s'éteignent un à un, le personnage traverse un grand pan de lumière blanche, la porte se referme toute seule, l'escalier apparaît en plongée : la scène semble se rejouer à l'envers, ce qui souligne la structure circulaire et la clôture de la séquence, mais aussi l'influence de l'œuvre de Gustave Doré. Le dialogue des contes et des illustrations se poursuit jusqu'à la dernière image de la séquence puisqu'elle se termine sur les ronces qui envahissent l'escalier du château de la Bête, comme celles qui envahissent les gravures du château de la Belle au bois dormant."

(Estelle Plaisant Soler, 26 juin 2006)

Fig.1 Jean Cocteau (1946). "la Belle et la Bête"

2). PDF of 100 Cult Films (Screen Guides).

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1946atmosphericbeastbeauty • candlebra • candlestick • caryatids • castlechandelierscostume design • daylight • eerie • enchanted garden • engraving • external light • externalisation • extinguished • fairy talefantasyfilmfilm designfireflameFrenchgloveGustave Dorehorse • iconogaphy • in the mindinterior spaceJean CocteauJean Marais • Josette Day • Jungian • key • La Belle et la Bete • light • living arms • Madame Leprince de Beaumont • magic • merchant • metaphormotion picturemyth • natural light • Prince Charmingrealityset design • silverware • Sleeping Beauty • smoke-breathing • sparkling reflections • spatial symbolismspecial effectsstaircasestory • supernatural • surrealismsymbolismtalismantheatrical space • torch • visual designvisual metaphorvisual spectacle • white light

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 OCTOBER 2009

Volkswagen viral marketing campaign uses giant staircase piano

"If stairs played musical notes when you walked on them, would you be more likely to take them?

The video of people skipping the escalator in favor of composing music on the piano stairs of Odenplan subway station in Stockholm, Sweden, ... is part of a new viral marketing campaign called 'The Fun Theory.' The concept, created by Volkswagen Sweden and ad agency DDB Stockholm, is based on the idea that 'fun is the easiest way to change people's behavior for the better.'"

(Kelsey Ramos, 15 October 2009, Los Angeles Times)

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2009ad campaignadvertising in public spaces • composing music • creative advertisingDDB • DDB Stockholm • designing experiencesembodied interfaces • escalator • Fun Theory (marketing campaign) • giant piano • interactive advertisinginteractive playLos Angeles Timesmetro station • musical notes • Odenplan metro stationperforming in publicpiano • piano stairs • playrailway stationstaircaseStockholmsubway stationSwedentrain stationuser experience design (UX)viral campaign • viral marketing campaign • Volkswagen • Volkswagen Sweden

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 MAY 2009

David Hare: Hamas torture technique

"The victim is shown a wall on which a staircase is drawn, and at the top is a drawing of a bicycle. The victim is told to go and get the bicycle. He says he can't get the bicycle because it's a drawing. He is then told if he doesn't bring the bicycle downstairs he will be beaten."
(Eric Herschthal, A Parallax View)

[UK playwright David Hare describes a Hamas torture technique used on citizens of Gaza it considers to be collaborators. He does so in one of his monologues entitled simply 'Wall'.]

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bicycle • collaborator • David Hare • drawingGazaGaza StripHamasPalestinianstaircasetortureUKwall

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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