What is my Movie Montage?

I’ve been taking the last couple months to do some soul searching. I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself (hiking, reading, writing, resting, watching entire TV series on Netflix). When I had the scare on the MRI back in August I looked back and realized that in many ways I had been very impulsive and reactionary as I dealt with each phase and trial and emotion of the treatment process. I also was never alone. I either had my Mom (who I miss…just so she knows), Amy (who I love and cherish), or other family (Stacemom = The Bomb, Grandma Schwartz = Fun Times) around. I am grateful that they were there with me. They were there to make sure that I could stand on my own two feet and now that I can, it’s giving me a chance to really let it all sink in. I’m to the point now that I’m able to see the past 16 months as a movie montage. What? Yes, a movie montage. Movie montages were very popular in 1980’s cinema especially. A montage is a series of short shots edited into a sequence to condense space, time, and information (usually with music). It is mostly used to suggest the passage of time but it did originate as a way to create symbolic meaning through juxtaposition in early Soviet Cinema (i.e. Battleship Potemkin). Montages are usually used to build up to the climax of the film. Knowing there is still plenty of film left in my story, the question that I’m pondering is what type of montage will this past 16 months be and what will it lead to?

Here are some different types of montages to give you a picture of what I’m talking about…

The “Preparation” Montage:

This is the most popular type of montage. Almost all sport and heist films have one. All of the Rocky movies do and it’s always him training for the big fight. In heist films you seem putting together the plan and gathering materials to “pull off the job”.

This is a great parody of that type of montage from Team America

The “Blowing off Steam” Montage:

Sometimes a character reaches an emotional wall and in order to break through, needs to go “blow off steam” so that he can come back to life and face the challenges ahead. The most famous one is from Footloose. I posted the one from the cult comedy hit “Hot Rod” instead because I think it’s super funny and absurd.

The “Rise To Fame” Montage:

Sometimes in films, characters have small or humble beginnings and a part of their story is too see them rise to fame/power and montages can help with that. This is my favorite one. It’s from Ghostbusters.

All these montages either make you laugh or get you pumped up for the climax. Some montages can be strictly mechanical just for the sake of speeding up the story but some montages can also work very effectively on an emotional level and can help you connect with the internal struggles of the characters…Here are some examples.

The “Emotional Breakthrough” Montage:

Unlike the “Blowing off Steam” montage…there are the type of montages that help a character come to a realization that they have long needed to come to in order to make a healthy change in their life. One of my favorite examples of this type of Montage is from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is what the director John Hughes had to say about the montage, “The closer Cameron looks at the child on the Monet painting, the less he sees, until there’s nothing there. I think he fears that the more people look at him (Cameron) the less they see. There isn’t anything there. That’s the realization he’s coming to.”

The “Backstory” Montage:

There is often not a lot of time in a film to help communicate the emotional stakes at play that motivate a character, and the movie “Up” has one of the most brilliant montages that does that. I still have a hard time not crying when I watch this.

I like to think that my Cancer Recovery (although it’s still ongoing) Montage is all of these types combined. The question now is “What happens next” and the answer I’m finding that rings true is “Only God knows”, which gives me great comfort (I’m also hoping that maybe a vacation somewhere tropical could be in store as well). However, I know that the question that you want to know the answer to is “What song is playing during my movie montage”.

Well check out the video below to see…

Much love and thanks for still being here,

Alex

Advertisements