On Monday, Google celebrated the 120th birth anniversary of Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein with a doodle. Eisenstein is known as the father of montage technique in filmmaking.
Montage is a technique in editing in which a series of short shots are edited into a sequence to condense space, time, and information. Eisenstein’s films had political themes and Google Doodle in its website added that “his films were also revolutionary in another sense, as he often depicted the struggle of downtrodden workers against the ruling class”.
Born in 1898 in Riga, the present-day capital of Latvia, Eisenstein studied architecture and engineering and at 20, joined the Red Army to serve the Bolshevik Revolution. He started taking an interest in theatre and in 1920, he moved to Moscow to begin his career in theatre. He then became a film theorist and in 1925, he released his first full-length feature film, Strike, a silent film depicting protesting workers at a factory in pre-communist Russia. In the same year, he released Battleship Potemkin, with its spectacular ‘Odessa Steps’ sequence of soldiers killing innocent civilians.
In 1928, his film October, based on the 1917 October Revolution, irked the Soviet regime. The film was known for its use of imagery and realistic crowd sequences. Even though it was commissioned by the ruling regime, Eisenstein’s experiments with montage didn’t go down well with them. His other notable movies include Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible.
He died of a heart attack in 1948, shortly after he turned 50.
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