Today’s Google Doodle pays homage to Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein on what would have been his 120th birthday. While his name may not mean much to you, Eisenstein is considered to be the “father of the montage,” and the impact of his work can be seen in most modern blockbusters.
Eisenstein started his career making propaganda for the Soviet Union, but he soon turned to moviemaking, and his talent thrust him into the international spotlight. The Google Doodle features Eisenstein reviewing animated film strips with imagery inspired by his work, including the 1925 films Battleship Potemkin and Strike. It was in Battleship Potemkin that Eisenstein mastered the art of the montage, weaving together short shots, filled with images that show the passage of time, the psychological impact and importance of an event, and gives viewers a great deal of information in a short span.
However, it wasn’t just Eisenstein’s impeccable editing that turned him into a filmmaking legend. “His films were also revolutionary in another sense, as he often depicted the struggle of downtrodden workers against the ruling class,” reads Google’s post accompanying the Eisenstein doodle. That vision is how an icon–and a Google Doodle–is born.
Born 120 years ago today, director Sergei Eisenstein. It's difficult to do any justice to his famous Odessa Steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin in a GIF, but I gave it a shot pic.twitter.com/NSs3GcrQvg
— Silent Movie GIFs (@silentmoviegifs) January 22, 2018