eisenstein, montage and comics

eisenstein, montage and comics


Bernard Caleo (of CARDIGAN) and I gave a talk at Readings on Eisenstein, montage theory and comics. Here are some supplementaries.

for those who missed the talk, here is my comics homage to soviet silent film montage. Click on the drawing to PLAY


The Two Podlokovs

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 And for those who were there and are curious, here are the movies we mentioned.


parallel montage


Pudovkin plays parallel stories off each other. In ‘The End of St Petersberg’, the scene called “the transaction” contrasts the excited rush of stockmarket players with the terrified rush of soldiers. Stocks go up as soldiers go down. “The transaction” begins at about 0:53:30

The End of Saint Petersberg


Intellectual Montage


‘Strike’ is Eisenstein’s first feature. The ending, from 1:32:00, intercuts the strikers being attacked with a bull being butchered. WARNING – VERY GRAPHIC.


‘October’ or ’10 days that shook the world’. Man! Metaphor metaphor metaphor! Not as enjoyable (if thats the word for it) as the famous Odessa steps sequence from Potemkin, but if you want to get your head around Eisenstein’s montage theory, this movie is like a textbook. The bridge raising scene at 0:16:45, while not necessarily the best example of intellectual montage, is pretty incredible.





The seal hunt from Flaherty’s ‘Nanook of the North’

seal hunt

the snowball scene from ‘Citizen Kane’

snowball scene




Other amazing russians we stumbled across in our travels.

‘Mother’, also by Pudovkin. A woman’s son escapes from soldiers over a frozen river, as the troops prepare to crush a strike. The young man reunites with the strikers and his mother, who has joined them. Amazing ending, from 1:19:00.


And here, also by Pudovkin, is the end of  ‘Storm over Asia’ or ‘Potomok Genghis Khan’. wow.


‘Earth’, by Dovzhenko. The first scene. beautiful.