Film Criticism and Theory

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Films depicting various images

Films depict various images of governments, individuals, and the state of a nation. Artists set up their messages, depict the timeframe, and employ a presentation style that is aesthetically concealed. Figurative language is typically used to convey information to the audience (Baeteens 3). Depending on the production philosophies they subscribe to, experts in the arts and film have opinions and judgments regarding films. Depending on how well the film producer communicates facts to the public, they may concur or disagree. Eisenstein and Andre Bazin, two movie gurus, have opinions on several movies. Their positions leave it up to viewers to evaluate such productions. In contextualizing film production, these become the measuring scales. An example of such a film is, ‘October: Ten days that shook the world,' which this paper analyses. In this review, the views of these two artists regarding film production evaluate the ideas presented, and consider the robust and weak stands of their ideas.

Lessons from the Soviet Union

October, presents the lessons from the Soviet Union, at a time when the country needed a revolution. The people suffered and demanded a change of leadership. It begins from the Romanov government, overthrown for inconsistency, that later invites more political activity in the country. An angry mob damaged several architectural works, to demonstrate the fall of an administration. People, looking grave and businesslike, walk to some enclosure to form a new government. After Kerensky takes over as prime minister, the country gets into murky political waters, which denies people their rights and liberties. Economic conditions are growing poorer as citizens display dissatisfaction and demonstrate against their government. The state becomes dictatorial as demonstrators face the harsh political environment. Kerensky’s government loses control in October, reaches a point of weakness that brings a new administration led by Bolsheviks.

Crude presentation of information

The film has a crude way of presenting information. It was off the topic, circumvented important ideas and later demonstrated little as far as these issues of the country are concerned. Most of the film has scenes that did not rhyme with the information people needed to understand. A good number of experts, foreign and within the country see it as a mismatch of ideas between the director, events, and the authors. The director had extended and long cruises around parts of the film that did not work to its advantage. Considering the variously written work by Eisenstein and Andre, it suffers from the analysis of its presentation. Here are a few reasons.

Bazin’s interest in psychological and mental realism

Bazin had an interest in the psychological and mental realism of events (Bazin & Gray 4). His suggestions were that people had to find the meaning of art production appealing to the extent that they cause a change in mentality (Bazin & Gray 4). In saying so, he uses the term “mummy complex” when he writes the book “The Ontology of the Photographic Image.” In saying so, he meant that accurate and filming information should be connected to the specific activities in the society, the political institutions, and a country at large (Bazin & Gray 4). In the film, October, these do not appear. Many activities feature in the movie despite their inessential nature to its understanding. One wonders why the film seems disjointed in its ambitions to pass information. An example of a situation is the people indicated stealing spoons, a dead horse floating on water, a woman’s hair scattering. These do not present anything significant at that time when the people need to understand what went wrong in Russia. It fails to capture the attention of individuals, which in this case must be sharp, breathless, and undivided. By a continuation of such presentations, viewers have little response to the film, as it does not excite the mindset needed for understanding.

Eisenstein’s concept of filming as language

Eisenstein compares the concept of filming to languages people speak. It is not easy to understand a jumbled language without filtering the relevant ideas. Filtering ideas in a language demands editing that leaves only the crisp points for simple understanding (Eisenstein 276). These concepts should apply in films by eliminating scenes or making them short and precise. He compares these by using the word “collisions” from Japanese ideograms. In directing and editing a film, the information should be short and reach the viewer’s faster unless there is a serial format it must take. This does not feature in the movie October. Viewers remain to wonder the specific ideas the film authors had. Besides, it worries to notice that a great mind in film production deviated from the concepts that switched the viewers as well.

Intellectual montage and the mixing of ideas

The constructs in the movie are diverging from what the artists considered to be the best processes of coming up with movies. However, it is important to identify the intentions to mix the ideas of film to the skills he wanted to display. Eisenstein (276) discussed the ideas of ‘intellectual montage.’ Intellectual montage allows the mixing of different concepts in a film for the viewer to connect to the main idea and find sense out of them. These separate parts are collections, not in the major script but additions. Their idea is not to complete the film length but to clarify different events to a viewer. In the movie October, these ideas feature in randomly, prompting the audience to connect superior knowledge in them alone. An example is a comparison between religious groups, which later seems to be similar, like images of Jesus in specific regalia similar to other forms of religion, showing that religion could have one origin not known to man. Other instances are changes from the meetings new government leaders are having, the people demonstrating against the government, and Smolny. It remains the ability of a viewer, who must be critical enough in his views to connect these ideas.

Strengths and weaknesses of the positions

The positions above have strengths and weaknesses. For a film director or artists who come across them before making a movie, he or she may take the ideas and apply. For the first two ideas about 'mummy complex' and collision, they subject the artist to be precise in production. Producers take a keen interest in editing the storyline to fit just the information they need. These are good ways of editing which can drive the information as fast as possible. Weaknesses of these points are the implications to the different audiences. Some people may welcome productions taking such formats as others audiences may have their views regarding the same. As a result, no one is sure the kind of reception it will receive, leaving the artists worried.

The idea of intellectual montage

The last idea about intellectual montage solves several issues like understanding the interconnections of the events that occurred then (Eisenstein 276). The strength of this approach is the reduced sweat and energy in explaining every concept the film shows (Baeteens et al. 158). Most films change from one scene to another trying to combine all the lessons without necessarily explaining to the viewers. If the audience can connect these ideas in the movie, then it is a wise idea to understand in the movie (Baeteens et al. 158). Sometimes, the audience may not be intellectually inclined as the directors and producers expect. Such are the instances when the intellectual montage fails. In its failure, it drags several people into the furrows of confusion, as they cannot ascertain the right information from the film.

The complexity of film production

Film directors and producers find it sophisticated to handle these ideas in producing their films. All depend on the original information to pass and the audience waiting to watch. If the audience is already known, the best method of presentation becomes easy to understand.


In conclusion, Bazin and Eisenstein explain film production in ways that a viewer or an audience easily evaluates the production of different movies and weigh the points they pass. The film October, produced at a time when Russia was in hard political and economic issues is on such film combining the knowledge of these artists. Bazin indicates that people must be willing to produce films informs coherent to mental activity regarding the events in society. Eisenstein admits that editing should meet collision and take the form of language. When explaining to an individual what information one has, it becomes easy by reducing it to contain only the major ideas. Additionally, intellectual montage allows editors to combine unvaried parts of the film for the viewer to connect and draw sense about several other events. Most of these ideas can achieve or fail in their mission to the audience depending on how sharp the people are. For the film October, they mixed and passed ideas and information differently.

April 06, 2023

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