Montage of dreams

After reading “Interpretation of dreams” by Freud and “Eisentein Generative Poetics” I found some similarities between them. Freud defined dreams as accumulated thoughts of our unconscious that come out in our minds in form of symbols that could be interpreted. On the other hand, Eisentein , through his theory of montage, emphasized on montage as one of the major elements in film making through deconstructing all elements to form a whole figure like deconstructing symbols of dreams to make its interpretation clear.

Frankly, I never thought about montage as an important element within a movie but after watching a parts  of Eisentein’s films The Battleship Potemkinand “October” I started to realize that thoughts and ideas could be expressed through silence  and not necessarily by words. Moreover, in the Odessa steps  in The Battleship Potemkin, scenes appear as fragmented parts and there are different frames that concentrate on faces of actors and time is static in this scene because in the whole seven minutes nothing actually happens just movement of military against people and all of them are coming down the stairs. But only in one instance, a woman carrying her child started to go up the stairs which represents a wake up call to face oppression. Therefore, all these fragmented scenes created a whole concept which had an impact on audience by making them feel sympathy with people and terror at the same time. Besides, I noticed that his theory of montage is influenced by Hegelian dialectic because there are conflicts between different things as speed of motion and actions and volume as well.

Finally, I’d like to to say that  I came to the  following conclusion: Aren’t movies like dreams and dreams like movies? I mean there is something surreal in both of them .They have the same form and both are open for interpretation by deconstructing them into small “molecules”. Besides, in the process of interpretation of dreams, isn’t like montage of movie? I refer to gathering all symbols together to try to analyze it and understand what they stand for.

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7 Responses to Montage of dreams

  1. Span501 says:

    Great approach, Doa. I agree that movies and dreams have a lot in common. It’s amazing how people have different opinions about a movie just seen, depending on what touched them, where they come from (ideologically). The same with dreams: since we can’t usually remember all of our dreams, we remember our the most shocking parts or the most interesting. Interpret both – also can be done in many ways.

  2. Bill says:

    Aren’t movies like dreams and dreams like movies?

    Yes definitely! And the general Freudian hypothesis is that all art is like a dream, and so subject to the psychoanalytic method.

    PE is an attempt to describe montage.

  3. Jon says:

    “PE is an attempt to describe montage.”

    Perhaps, though I note that, at least so far as I can see, the term “montage” is not used at any point of this discussion of Eisenstein.

    Do you (or Doaa) think it should have been? If so, why?

    • doaa25 says:

      Yeah Jon you’re right. Although the term montage wasn’t explicitly mentioned in a direct way, but he actually talked about it through the term”mise en scene” explaining all the process of editing the scenes, ,deconstructing and then constructng the shots ,emphasizing on”expressions through images”.

      • Jon says:

        I guess I’m just a big fan of keeping things simple wherever possible. So it seems to me that if the text doesn’t mention montage (and indeed, doesn’t appear to be about montage), and if it doesn’t mention deconstruction (and likewise, doesn’t appear to be about deconstruction), then we’d need a good reason to introduce those terms.

        We might have a good reason to do so. But if not, isn’t it an unnecessary complication?

        In the meantime, let’s figure out the terms that he *does* use: Mise en scène doesn’t refer to the shots (indeed, it’s not clear to me that this could not be a play, by the way) but rather to the spatial arrangement of what is set in front of the camera. Wikipedia has a reasonable definition: “mise-en-scène refers to everything that appears before the camera and its arrangement—composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting.”

        Montage, by contrast, is about how you edit together distinct shots or takes.

        In sum, a rule of thumb: studying literary theory doesn’t mean making everything complicated and invoking jargon at every opportunity. I admit that it may seem that way at first, but if we take that approach we’ll end up confusing ourselves.

  4. Marie says:

    Interesting comparison regarding dreams and movies. I always thought there was a rather significant difference between them though. When watching a movie, you consciously suspend your disbelief, you consciously allow your consciousness to enter a dream-like state. That is not the case with dreams. Which is why I think there is a difference when interpretating dreams and movies. A movie is a patiently constructed work and we may be able to isolate and bring together all the elements, there is an armature that we cannot ignore. It’s a little bit different with dreams because at the end of the day, you assume both functions, that of the dreamer and the interpreter and you can choose to value or disregard this or that element. The dreamer/interpreter is the one who gives the dream a structure.

    I guess what I’m really trying to say is that (IMO) movies are Art. Dreams are not.

  5. bautistare says:

    Hi Doaa, is very interesting you text. Personally I think that is very risky to establish a line between dreams and no dreams, mirrors, reflections, movies, art, etc… (I hate the word reality, is so pretentious), sometimes is all about illusions, including the illusion of reality, logic and meaning: La vida es suenho, Primero suenho, Cratilo…

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