Pudovkin's Precept, Part 2: 'This Method of Temporal Concentration'
Cameron, Evan Wm.
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In 1926, Vsevolod Pudovkin, a not-so-young Russian of thirty-two making his first movie of feature length, articulated within a brief manual for filmmakers how to solve the fundamental problem of film design by describing how to select and order the parts of a movie (its shots, scenes and sequences) to ensure that viewers can perceive coherently and with least effort the events that they encounter by means of them. How did he do it? How, indeed, could anyone have done it, much less an inexperienced filmmaker, accomplishing a feat of a kind unprecedented within commentaries by others upon any other art? To answer those questions is to comprehend not only the rudiments of how filmmakers make movies but the distinctive nature of the art of filmmaking itself. Within the lectures on 'Pudovkin's Precept . . .' available within the Evan Wm. Cameron Collection, I address those questions in order and with increasing refinement, unpacking in Part 2 how the precept, when understood as comprehensibly as Pudovkin would have wished, imposes additional requirements upon the making of movies intended to be 'works of art' – constraints within which too few filmmakers have been able and willing to work.
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