مدرس سینما، مدرسه فیلم تهران
عنوان مقاله [English]
Through close scrutiny of the Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's 1924 film, Battleship Potemkin, this article argues that the rhythmic editing of the film demands accompanying music based on the same rhythmic system. Since Eisenstein had a musical structure in mind for the editing of this sequence, composers of film music tasked themselves with expressing his rhythmic visual patterns in equivalent musical form. Three of the composers who attempted this were Edmund Meisel, Nikolai Kryukov, and Dmitri Shostakovich. An evaluation of the aesthetic relevance of these composers' works will draw on theories of film music developed by Theodor Adorno and Hanns Eisler. Meisel, a contemporary of Eisenstein, had the advantage of composing his music in direct consultation with the director. The result is music which closely follows the film's rhythmic structure. Although composed hastily in a short time, the music became Eisenstein's all time favorite for this film. This article argues that the close collaboration between the filmmaker and the composer was central to the success of Meisel’s score. However, since Meisel’s score was composed for a censored and shorter version of the film, a new score was required to accompany later releases of the film which were longer and closer to Eisenstein’s own version of the film. Two-time Stalin Award winner Nikolai Kryukov was commissioned to write film music for an international release of the film in 1950. However, despite Kryukov's close attention to Eisenstein's notes and instructions on the importance of rhythm in the sequence, his score was repetitive, monotonous and unnecessarily loud. This article describes how the constant beating of the timpani throughout the piece limits the development of a meaningful relationship between the film and the music -- what Adorno and Eisler regard as a “cardinal sin.” When a still more complete version of Potemkin was released in 1976, a new soundtrack was composed using excerpts from the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich which expressed a pronounced Russian spirit. Although, selected after the great composer’s death, the brutal dissonance of the score reinforce the horror of the Cossack assault on the helpless people. While parts of the Shostakovich score do not correspond with the ideas of Eisenstein, Adorno and Eisler, it is clear that an emotional rather than structural correlation between the film and the music is at work. Non the less, on many significant moments within this sequence, the music matches the visual cues and heightens the emotional effects of many juxtaposed shots in their sequential arrangements. After discussing the film music by each of these three composers, the article concludes that an adequate match between the film and its score can only be achieved through exact structural and meaningful rhythmic correspondence between the film's editing and its music. Finally, along with an analysis of the relevance of the work of these composers to the film, the article delineates how censorship and repeated restorations have had a detrimental effect on the structural unity of the film.