Let us follow the doxa and begin with an epigraph: «Method of this project: literary montage. I needn’t say anything. Merely show. I shall purloin no valuables, appropriate no ingenious formulations. But the rags, the refuse - these I will not inventory but allow, in the only way possible, to come into their own: by making use of them.» Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project/Das Passagenwerk (frag. #1a, 8)
If we look at the etymological origin of the word montage - taking things from the bottom up – we will find a unique relationship with the concept of editing in what is its selective and legitimizing function; only later was it to acquire its contemporary sense of an assembly of parts. To Sergei Eisenstein, montage corresponds literally to editing and modeling strategies of emotional speech. In his first essay, in 1923, before directing any film and while still working in theatrical production, Eisenstein introduces the concept of «montage of attractions», i.e. the meeting or junction of theatrical effects to generate an emotional response from the audience. Eisenstein, clearly a rhetorician, aspired to powerful effects that would lead his audience to feel and think exactly what he wanted them to. The author followed Vertov and Kuleshov, who had demonstrated a crucial principle in the cinematic process: the audience will relate any two sequential images on a narrative or conceptual way. The editor of the cinematic images was then in a position of the greatest control and emotional power when driving the reception of the film, and editing was the rhetorical principle that revealed to the spectator the creative force of the authoral work.