The art of the developmental montage

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Colin-H, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    Another oft-abused movie device (like the slow walk) is the developmental montage that shows time passing. What do you think are the absolute best ones out there?

    I'll start it off with Ghostbusters.
     
  2. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I joked to Ted (who started the slow walk thread) that I should start a music montage thread. I guess I was too lazy. But I'll certainly contribute.

    It seems that this montage technique is most often used in comedies.
    Better Off Dead--This is the first movie that comes to mind. Howard Jones' "Like To Get To Know You Well" is playing while Lane and Monique are fixing up the Camaro. It helps that Diane Franklin is H...O....T....HOT!

    Real Genius--Damn, I can't remember the name of the tune. Someone help me here! The guys are working on the laser and finally get it to work at the end of the montage.

    Rad--A sequence of bike tricks with Cru and Christian "dancing" together on their bikes while we hear "Send Me an Angel" by Real Life.

    There are so many more so I'll let everyone else have a chance to chime in before submitting more. But let me end with one of the most famous ones:

    Rocky--How can we forget the sequence of Rocky training to the song "Gonna Fly"?

    "Getting stonger.....getting stronger....."[​IMG]
     
  3. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Citizen Kane: Breakfast room.
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Army of Darkness: The robotic hand building scene

    Futurama, Pilot Episode: Doesn't get much more time passing than watching the city of New York develop, get destroyed by aliens, have forests grow, get cut down, watch civilization rebuild, get destroyed by aliens (Again) and finally be rebuilt into the futuristic city that is New New York, circa 3000.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Almost any film by Sergei Eisenstein had a lot of montage: Battleship Potemkin, Alsexander Nevsky, Strrike, and on and on. Much of what he did has not been improved upon to any great degree.

    Many of the Frank Capra films like Mr Smith Goes to Washington and Mr. Deeds goes to Town.

    Of them all, Seth’s nomination is a classic—to which can be added the opening sequence, where we learn about Kane’s life.
     
  6. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I think I meant expository montage. Whatever. I was tired when I posted this.
     
  7. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    The one that leaps to my mind is Notting Hill. I havent seen the film in a while (largely because I hated it as I didn't believe the relationship would work), BUT I do remember the "time passing" scene. It's not so much a montage as a single shot set up to evoke the passage of time. Hugh Grant walks down through the market to an Elvis Costello song (forget what one) as the world around him moves through the four seasons. The thing that really sells the scene are the little touches - the woman who goes through her pregancy ends up with a baby in a pram, for instance. Great scene.
     
  8. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    How bout the one in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?
     
  9. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The Truman Show: Truman's entire life is summed up in a commercial.
     
  10. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    Disney's Tarzan has a really good one as Tarzan grows from boy to man.
     
  11. Joseph_P

    Joseph_P Auditioning

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    I'm not sure if this is what you have in mind, but one of my favorite montage sequences is in Rushmore, showing Max "making a go of it at Grover Cleveland," set to Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My Baby." I particularly love the shot of Max looking proudly defiant sitting next to his "Tidal Waves" science project, complete with a rather crude model of a giant wave engulfing a tiny tropical island. Sports movies almost always have some kind of "self-improvement" montage, compressing the hero's (or team's) dramatic improvement over several weeks or months into a couple of minutes or so. They also often have some kind of "kicking butt" or "rising in the ranks" montage sequence; the sequence in Hoosiers right after Jimmy joins the team and the town agrees to let the coach stay, showing Hickory winning game after game, is a good example of this. Long reply, I know, but this is my first post here, and montage sequences are one of my favorite narrative techniques.
     
  12. Christopher Bosley

    Christopher Bosley Stunt Coordinator

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    The Real Genius montage is set to the song "Man In the Making" but I don't recall the artist
     
  13. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    A Bug's Life showing the passage of time as the ants build the "bird."
     
  14. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The scene in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure where Mr. Herman is trying to hitchhike by the side of the road.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    How about The Karate Kid's All Valley Karate Tournament montage? "You're the best --- around --- and nothin's ever gonna keep you down". Sergei probably shed a tear from Heaven when he saw it. [​IMG]

    I'm more of a fan of the "falling in love montage" - Miniature golf, a walk on the riverfront, buying a balloon, winning a big carnival stuffed animal, buying ice cream cones and getting ice cream on the partner's nose, walking in a sprinkler, etc.

    My Big Fat Greek Wedding desperately needed a falling in love montage. We saw them go out to dinner once, smooch in the car a few times, and roll around in the sack and then they're getting married? If I had been the director there would have been mini-golf and ice cream dammit!
     
  16. Carlos Mendoza

    Carlos Mendoza Stunt Coordinator

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    Lt. Frank Drebin and Jane falling in Love in "The Naked Gun".

    After the montage, we realize....

    That it all happened in just ONE DAY!!!
     
  17. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    How could I forget: the When She Loved Me sequence in Toy Story 2, showing the passage of time in a very poignant and heartbreaking fashion.
     

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