A long, long time ago, a professor startled our history of film class with an epiphany.
The juxtaposition of montages is
equal to pure cinema.
Huh? It sounded rich and obtuse. Something I would always remember in the ensuing decades when I was trying to impress people with my film savvy.
My old professor’s epiphany rang through my head as I shaved today, prompting me to set up a photo array on our back porch.
Is it pure cinematic thought in your mind?
“The New Yorker” covers rarely need words. You look at them once, twice, maybe several times. Usually, they provoke smiles, laughter and, often, nods of approval. They are juxtapositions of images for your mind.
The cartoon icon and our backyard froggy are internalizing our pictorial montage for discreet conversation between keeping watch over the bird feeders, the birds, and other poachers — namely the cadre of squirrels who themselves should be in the magazine cover montages.
If you’re a film maven, you know montages are important parts of films, especially classic films. They advance storylines with quick flips of scenes. No dialogue is needed if the montage is done well. A classic example is the beginning of Casablanca. Those montages set the scene, the people, and the political mood of the iconic film.
Just a free “Juji” trivia nugget. The “Casablanca” montages were directed by Don Siegel who later would become the respected director of action and westerns films. He mentored Clint Eastwood at the start of Dirty Harry’s directorial career. You can see the full circle of montages from Casablanca to Play Misty For Me to Unforgiven.
So, take another look at our montages for the mind. Relaxing on our back porch and, yes, upstaging our time to feed the birds. “Tuppence, tuppence a bag.”