• Editing the Past: How Eisenstein and Vertov Used Montage to Create Soviet History

      Priest, Douglas Michael; The College at Brockport (2008-10-01)
      This study examines montage according to Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov and how their theories changed due to the political and social upheaval of the Cultural Revolution (1928-1931). In the case of both directors, montage also led to revisionism of Soviet History. By closely analyzing the writings of both directors regarding their film theories, and comparing them with the films they subsequently created, the following discussion demonstrates that both directors made conscious choices about the structure of their films that led to historical revisionism both before and after the Cultural Revolution. Their writings and films existed within the context of Soviet authority and thus reflected its ideals, yet created historical revisionism in a distinct way, in spite of political pressure. Eisenstein's intricate development of montage gave him the ability to include it in his films both before and after the Cultural Revolution in a variety of ways. Vertov's focus on documentary film as the medium to which montage was applied allowed him to continue to assert himself well into the 1930s. As a result, both film makers retained a degree of artistic freedom throughout the repressive regime of Stalinism.