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THE POWER OF MONTAGE # 2 Medium · Message · Meaning

In case i didn’t made it clear in class MONTAGE IS POWER to those who know how to use it. It has given the power of Propaganda to Dictators, given Advertising Agencies the power to persuade us to Buy or Vote for a presidential candidate, and in the movies it has given Directors the power to tell a Story.

If a camera is a stick then Montage is a Light Sabre!

As i mentioned in class it seems (though not certain…) that we are neuro linguistically wired for Story by subconsciously constructing a Fabula with everything we see (pattern seeking) in addition we easily suspend disbelief and finally we like to be entertained. 

These factors contribute to a skillful montage doing its job of creating the illusion of world we can relate to, that is projected onto a screen in a cinema.

The medium of cinema is the most powerful medium for telling a story. It is where Montage is most focussed, and where we experience its message & meaning most intensely.

The Information Content that is projected onto the screen is made up of :
1. The Metanarrative  of the Story
2. Story Exposition necessary for understanding 1 
3. Images which are 80% of the information (20% is Audio)
4. The Montage itself that acts as the film language spoken by the director
Remember Film is a Director’s Medium, Theatre is an Actor’s Medium, TV is a Writer’s Medium. A movie director will not necessarily have a message , the story itself will provide you the viewer with a means to create meaning for yourself. Propaganda films of course have one meaning , not the directors meaning but the meaning of the Dictator. Advertisments have meaning which is the Product.
Here’s some examples of the Power a Film director has with Montage:
1. You will create your own meaning  from this film
Independent Director Terrence Malick’s  TREE OF LIFE 
2. Meaning as Propaganda – the Message is Decided
Director Leni Riefenstahl documentary on the Nazi Party in Triumph of the Will
3. An Ad for Business Loans – Make up your own mind but let us pursuade you ….
Director Ridley Scott creating a very Blade Runner tv commercial

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