ByAaron Dean, writer at

You probably don't think of Russia when you hear the word "movie." After all, they don't have their own comic franchises, and it's hard to imagine anything interesting enough going on in the country for people to make movies about.

But in Moscow, something incredible is happening. It's called "montage."

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Montage? Isn't that when cheesy 80s flicks try to pass time in the story?" And while that's totes true, this is a very different kind of montage. One that's - get this - inspiring revolution.

In. Sane.

How are they doing this? Well, according to some of our Russian sources, this idea of "montage" has been going on for quite a while. But one film in particular, called The Battleship Potemkin, is taking it to a whole other level!

The Battleship Potemkin is an action packed thrill ride about a group of sailors who create a violent mutiny on their ship, before bringing their revolutionary spirit to the Russian masses.

While that may not sound like much, it's got style that would make Quentin blush! But what exactly is "montage"?

According to an interview for the Russian paper Pravda with the director of Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein, montage is "the nerve of cinema" and "montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent shots [where] each sequential element is perceived not next to the other, but on top of the other."

Wow. We'd never even thought about films like that! Yet montage apparently gets even more complex than that! Say what?!

According to the Einstein and his filmmaking friends, there's a bunch of different types of montage, too:

  • Metric – This is when cuts in a flick follow a specific number of frames based on time, going to the next shot no matter what's going on in the image. This kind of montage is used to elicit a basic reaction from the viewers
  • Rhythmic - This one is cutting based on continuity (which means consistency), and makes visual continuity with each cut.
  • Tonal – This kind of montage uses the emotions of the shots—not just using the timing of the cuts or the beat of them—to get an even bigger reaction from the audience than from the metric or rhythmic montage. So like, cutting to a shot of a hot chick would make most of us watching feel all warm and happy.
  • Overtonal – This one is even crazier. It's when you put the metric, rhythmic, and tonal montage into a pot and mix them all together! The effect on the watchers is even bigger!
  • Intellectual – The hardest one. This is when are put together to make people think. We're betting this is Christopher Nolan's favorite!

Now imagine one movie that does all of these things. That's The Battleship Potemkin. Holy crap! According to the Russians, the result has been people completely changing their minds and beliefs! People's memories are even being altered by what they see! What the hell?

The most pants-shitting intense scene in the film!
The most pants-shitting intense scene in the film!

We decided to talk to some of the hottest editors in the biz', like Kirk Baxter (editor of many of David Fincher's masterpieces) and Jeffrey Ford (lots of Marvel!).

When we asked them if Eisenstein's ideas would transform American movies, Ford said that he had "Never heard of it," and that "I don't think most Americans are going to watch pretentiously cut movies like that." Baxter went even further, though - "I could care less about what a bunch of crazy Russians are doing. What's Russia ever done for filmmaking?"

Damn! But if people's minds are totally being altered, then surely those dudes must be doing something right, even if they are Russian?

MoviePilot reached out to Eisenstein himself for a comment, but were told that he "...wants nothing to do with moronic, capitalist pig Americans," and "we will bury you!"


Still, we here at MoviePilot hope that both Sergei and big cheese like Jeff and Kirk will come around. The Russkie's wicked eyes for action could prove perfect for one of Marvel's next big blockbusters!


Do you think that Montage theory will come to American flicks?


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