Montage and Visual Composition in Time

(course for ArtScience, 2009/10/11)

Montage is one of the most important things that makes video and film similar to a language. The difference between the many audiovisual languages that exist are therefore clearly reflected in their approach to editing. In this course we will discuss and practice three very different approaches to editing.
The first is based on constructing the illusion of continuity; the idea that a film director is orchestrating the attention of the spectator by showing a logical sequence of elements from a scene. The second is based on the clash between one shot and the next; the idea that film is like a combustion engine, driven forward by a series of explosions of meaning. The third approach is similar to music; the idea that film is the organization of visual elements in time.
Each approach will be introduced by examples that will be placed in their historical context. For each approach a montage assignment will be given, so that students develop their editing skills.