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THE POWER OF MONTAGE # The Influence of Styles

All directors are movie goers and before they have made their first film there future style is being influenced by the directors they have seen. Let me give you an example Sergio Leone & Quinton Tarantino 

Tarantino freely admits his debt to Leone the creator of Spaghetti Westerns which launched Clint Eastwood’s career as an Actor, and who is now an Academy award director.

Here’s the opening from Leones classic The Good The Bad & The Ugly 1966

The opening titling sequence is brilliant, the score a classic composed with long time collaborator the legendary Ennio Morricone Leone does some pretty incredible montage work here, juxtaposing an extreme wide angle shot with an extreme close up right in the beginning of the film. It automatically sets up some amazing scenes.

 

OK here is the trailer from Tarantino’s Kill Bill 2007

You can see the similarities with these 2 films, Tarantino is exactly copying Leone but is respectful of Leone’s style of montage, acknowledging the master with the music style & shot composition he deploys.

 

The Influence of SHOTS

Here is 2 very different films about War, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator made in 2000 (although this film is about revenge) & Kubrick’s 1959 Paths of Glory. In the opening scenes there are 2 shots very similar in design, a long tracking shot where the general is walking between troops in a fortification. We see the POV of the general and a front on shot of him walking towards us. In Paths of Glory the camera is mounted on a Dolly Track in Gladiator Scott is using a Steadicam. I have no doubt that Scott was influenced by Kubrick here in the choice of this shot. 

Gladiator

(40 sec mark)

Paths of Glory

 

As you begin to follow certain directors you will see more of this homage to the shot when its done well it is a sign of respect between directors.

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