Author Archives: Cagan Koc

Mary’s Cemetery: Group 1 Montage – Cagan/Carina/JP/Stephanie

Our group decided to take advantage of the possibilities of montage to create a film that explores the viewer’s perceptions of characters through different shots to create a murder mystery. We strived to create meaning in the same manner that Eisenstein suggests: through the use of opposing shots that contrast one another and create meaning. As a group we decided to shoot a murder mystery because it would best showcase the power of the montage to create suspense and engage the viewer. The quick shots in the film combined with the two different songs help create the ambience of the film.
In the beginning of the movie, the viewer sees shots of JP that are sandwiched by black screens that establish the intense, dark, and mysterious element of the movie. In this part of the film the quick shots of both JP and the cemetery help develop the idea that something is not completely right in this scene. The music, “Requiem for a Dream,” adds to the intensity as well as the impact of montage in this scene. The music gives the viewer a sense that something important or powerful is occurring during this sequence and gives the quick shots more power.
In contrast to the bold, heavy beginning of the film, the next sequence of the film is characterized by an eerily happy and normal sequence of clips. The transition from the opening sequence to the shots of three normal college students waking up to their alarms is a bit disjunctive, but serves to suggest to the viewer that these two occurrences are somehow related. In the beginning of the “routine sequence” of the film the viewer sees a quick cut of a knife which is an effective use of montage to continue the suspense of the film as well as a reference back to the earlier, more serous part of the movie.
Another way in which we used montage to manifest our ideas and contribute to our movie effectively was in the knife sequences with the characters cutting the food. These shots are a bit of a nod to the television show Dexter’s opening credit sequence, and also serve to unite the two parts of the film. The text on the screen also helped us to use montage to our advantage as well as to add some non-diegetic information to the plot of the film.
Overall, montage proved to be a challenging form of film that really is contingent upon effective editing and shot-making. The montage helped to further our story and create the kind of mystery and suspense needed to create an effective murder mystery.