© Chris Port, 8th October 2011
For Wittgenstein’s ‘Family Resemblances’ see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_resemblance.
For an example of Eisenstein’s intellectual montage see
Women and piglets (and Heartbeat and Baz Luhrmann for that matter) require no further research…
A few years ago I was marking a Film Studies research project on Baz Luhrmann while half-heartedly trying to follow an episode of Heartbeat out of the corner of my eye (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heartbeat_%28UK_TV_series%29). Multi-tasking can lead you into some very strange woods…
While pondering whether Baz Luhrmann (http://www.awardsdailyforums.com/showthread.php?t=22375) has anything interesting to say (no, he doesn’t), I took a wrong turn in Heartbeat. I mistook the subplot (something to do with missing piglets) for the main plot (something to do with a woman being stalked in misty moonlit woods).
Assuming that the woman was merely searching for the missing piglets, I thought the ominous piano chords slightly over-dramatic. But I was gobsmacked when (for Eisensteinian effect) the director intercut major screams of the woman grappling with her stalker with minor squeals of a hapless farmer grappling with a wriggling piglet.
What the f**k was going on? Was this a homage to Soviet montage? Or some Freudian reworking of a particularly dark Walt Disney film? I briefly paid Heartbeat a wary new respect. I briefly wondered whether I had under-estimated Luhrmann. But (on both counts) I was, of course, wrong.