Posts tagged #Battleship Potemkin

Our Montage Awards go to...

The art of a montage is an important technique in film, delivering information and time passage in a visual and succinct way. Oftentimes, no montage is complete without a soundtrack to drive it home.  It's true that montages can be overused and have gained the stigma of being cheesy and even dated, but if done right, a montage can be engaging, inspiring - even epic.  We now present to you...our montage awards.


10. The "That's So Meta" Award - Team America: World Police (2004)

We'll start our list off right with an homage to montages (say that five times fast).  In this comedy, we get to see the ultimate cliche of this technique of filmmaking.

Set to the song titled 'Montage', it includes lyrics like, "Show a lot of things happening at once, remind everyone of what's going on". These series of scenes satirizes the stigma of "the montage" in the best way possible by making a successful and cohesive montage. 

9. The "Might As Well Be A Music Video" Award - North Shore (1987)

When the role of the montage was more commonly used in a movie, bands would be invited to even score a theme for the montage itself.  Gary Wright wrote the gem of a song called "Am I The One?" specifically for the training montage of North Shore.

Not only is this a great montage, it also feels like a music video was just inserted in the middle of the film.  Great montage, great surfing. 

8. The "Every Gangsters Dream/Every Dorm Room Poster" Award - Scarface (1983)

In this montage, we get to see Tony Montana's rise to power in the adorable world of killing and drug trafficking.  The excessive and violent tone of the film is firmly established as it depicts endless money and power... even a pet tiger. 

Backed by the montage score of  "Push It to the Limit" by Paul Engemann, there is a great sense foreshadowing in that even in times of great wealth and power, will be equally matched by destruction.

7. The "Bring on the Bro-mance" Award - Footloose (1984)

When it comes to overcoming obstacles, we all know that the best way is through the expression of dance, and who better to teach you than Kevin Bacon

Through this compelling progression of time, we get to witness one man's quest through the journey of dance in different a farm.  More importantly, we get to see the budding bro-mance of two dudes expressing themselves to the song "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniese Williams.

6. The "New Kid in Town Overcomes All Odds to Take the Win" Award - Karate Kid (1984)

In this classic montage, we get to witness how the underdog protagonist Daniel LaRusa knocks out each member of the bad-boy karate syndicate Cobra-Kai.

In just 3 minutes and 30 seconds, we are told this tale through anticipation and drama as the hero climbs the ladder of the daunting tournament.  The guiding score of Joe Esposito's song "You're the Best" is so infectious, we're thinking of making it our morning soundtrack.


5. The "Saddest Opening to a Children's Movie Ever" Award - Up (2009)

C'mon, you would be lying if you didn't at least well up during this montage. In 49 scenes without dialogue, the opening sequence to this film depicts the entire life story of Ellie and Carl.  Tragedy strikes and we witness love won and lost in this captivating series of scenes. This was an amazing technique to set the tone to get you engaged with the characters of the film.

With so much sadness in this movie-within-a-movie, who wouldn't want to tie balloons to their house and float away?


4. The "Hooligans Sure Like to Get Hammered to Drum & Bass in the 90's" Award -  Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

In this wordless passage of imagery, we get to bear witness and relate to those boozed-out and hazy moments that we've all shared with friends, right?

What makes this montage stand out is the way that it's filmed.  With unique camera angles and a constant pulse from the soundtrack, these scenes of debauchery places you right in the middle of everything with realistic precision.  You can already feel the hangover.


3. The "Awkward Youth" Award -  Rushmore (1998)

In this film, we get to see the role of the montage turned on it's head.  Through a series wordless scenes, the story of 15-year-old protagonist Max Fischer is told through the various clubs that he attends.  There is a great consistency and aesthetic in this montage with the fact that he wears an awesome blazer in every club, including dodge ball.


2. The "Triumph Over Communism" Award - Rocky IV (1985)

We all now have the classic scene with Rocky Balboa running up the steps now burned in our brains, but fast forward to the 4th installment of this acclaimed series and you have yourselves another amazing montage.

This collection of scenes is all about training and anticipation, as well as being waaaay over the top about everything.  In these heightened moments of testosterone, we see Rocky once again overcoming odds on his own lifting stones.

1. The "Oh, The Humanity" Award - Battleship Potemkin (1925)

We have Battleship Potemkin to thank for the montage in the first place.  Director Sergei Eisenstein innovatively cut together snippets of scenes to create the infamous 'Odessa Steps' sequence, as a crowd run down steps in order to escape Cossack gunfire.

This is a powerful scene in filmmaking in that it shows instead of tells the intensity of a moment without words. 


This is our list.  What would you add?