Good points, Jay. I was going to scan some materials when I got home to
answer Burt, but you were much faster. Also, I recall Pound somewhere
(Pound Era?)mentioning Cocteau as one of his contacts in Paris. Cocteau
was, among other things, a master film director. Since EP was inspired
to take up the bassoon after seeing Cocteau try the drums in a
nightclub, maybe he was paying attention to the films too.
From: - Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine
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Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2004 11:58 AM
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Subject: Re: Pound and Movies
Don't know what films Pound may have seen back then, but you're right to
point to Eisenstein/Chinese written character.
Just to be clear, though: Montage simply means, in film parlance,
cutting/editing. Eisenstein's montage was very specific, and I think it
should more properly be characterized as 'graphic montage', ie he
collided images based on their graphic qualities. Any cutting is
montage, and the Hollywood silent films (since you asked about the 20's)
used a particularly bland montage based largely on proscenium shots,
drawn from theatrical conventions. They were just assembled scenes.
DW Griffith is a noted mutation, as he is known for his intercutting of
action sequences. The famous climax of BIRTH OF A NATION is the
foremost, and earliest, example of this. Come to think of it, this
might be relevant for Pound's method, if he did, in fact, draw from
Eisenstein wrote eloquently about his montage in a series of books, but
his films are the best way to understand what he was doing.
Early French episodic films (Feuillade) were pretty popular and were a
big influence on Surrealists, in all media. Wouldn't be surprised if
Pound knew some of this work.
One would want to look at when and where these films were released, and
what, if any, subsequent changes could be seen in Pound's style.
We know he liked Disney films in his deep Mussolini days, for reasons
I've never understood. Also, an earlier thread on this list discovered
that he saw some Stan Brakhage film(s) much later.
best, Jay Anania