Event Title

Audiovisual Montage in Battleship Potemkin

Location

Diamond 344

Start Date

1-5-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Project Type

Presentation- Restricted to Campus Access

Description

Sergei Eisenstein viewed cinema as a combination of many media of art, including theatre, music, and photography, and strove to use them to innovate in tandem. Popular trends in visual and aural arts are in a constant state of evolution, and Eisenstein realizing this, had a vision for his iconic 1925 film Battleship Potemkin, which involved periodically pairing newly composed music to the existing film. By incorporating new musical material, he hoped the film and the themes it presented would be able to maintain relevance to modern audiences. Eisensteins montage film style, for further development, requires what he terms as contrapuntal use of sound in relation to the visual, in addition to the music being non-synchronous and non-representational. This study examines how two different scores written for Battleship Potemkin, match or contrast with this idea. I make a detailed analysis of the opening of the film using both the score by Meisel and the compilation of Shostakovich symphonies set to the film to show that the original score does not adhere to Eisensteins conception of film sound. This study also examines how Eisensteins montage film style conveys themes of tension and political awakening, how several different musical settings deal with and portray those themes, and how composers have presented key relationships, power struggles between keys, and other musical relationships to accentuate the visual montage-style of the film.

Faculty Sponsor

Natasha Zelensky

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Music Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Humanities

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

93

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

Audiovisual Montage in Battleship Potemkin

Diamond 344

Sergei Eisenstein viewed cinema as a combination of many media of art, including theatre, music, and photography, and strove to use them to innovate in tandem. Popular trends in visual and aural arts are in a constant state of evolution, and Eisenstein realizing this, had a vision for his iconic 1925 film Battleship Potemkin, which involved periodically pairing newly composed music to the existing film. By incorporating new musical material, he hoped the film and the themes it presented would be able to maintain relevance to modern audiences. Eisensteins montage film style, for further development, requires what he terms as contrapuntal use of sound in relation to the visual, in addition to the music being non-synchronous and non-representational. This study examines how two different scores written for Battleship Potemkin, match or contrast with this idea. I make a detailed analysis of the opening of the film using both the score by Meisel and the compilation of Shostakovich symphonies set to the film to show that the original score does not adhere to Eisensteins conception of film sound. This study also examines how Eisensteins montage film style conveys themes of tension and political awakening, how several different musical settings deal with and portray those themes, and how composers have presented key relationships, power struggles between keys, and other musical relationships to accentuate the visual montage-style of the film.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/333