Remind everyone of what's goin' on.
And with every shot show a little improvement
To show it all would take too long.
That's called a montage!
Ooh, we wanna montage!"
A montage (literally "putting together") is a form consisting of a series of short shots which are edited into a coherent sequence. Or at least coherence was intended.
Note that it takes more than a lack of dialogue and some overlaid music to be a montage. Montage is generally considered to be the opposite of continuity editing, so discontinuity is key. If the shots are short, but one flows into the next in real time, it's not a montage, it's just a tense scene.
- Anger Montage: A montage that shows a very angry character smashing up a room.
- Apocalyptic Montage: A montage of places being destroyed.
- Aspect Montage: Rather than show a whole scene to establish a setting, a montage of different parts of it is shown instead.
- A-Team Montage: A montage that shows the characters one by one building something together.
- Atrocity Montage: A montage of people suffering horribly.
- Avengers Assemble: The members of a hero team are signaled to come together and we see a montage of every individual member being summoned by the call and having to stop whatever they were currently doing.
- Binge Montage: A montage that shows a group of characters partying drunkenly.
- Blade-of-Grass Cut: A screen cut to an object.
- Blipvert: A very fast montage, often of unrelated scenes.
- Boredom Montage: A montage of a character starting off happy about something, but eventually growing bored of the monotony.
- Clip Show: A television episode consisting mainly of recycled footage from earlier episodes.
- Contrast Montage: A montage that contrasts two characters.
- Conversation Cut: When there's a scene cut in the middle of a conversation, but the conversation continues as if no time had passed.
- Costume-Test Montage: A montage of a character trying on and rejecting different outfits.
- Creation Sequence: A scene of something being made (not always a montage, but usually is).
- Credits Montage: The credits show a montage of scenes from the show/movie.
- Crime Spree Montage: A montage of someone committing crimes.
- Death Montage: A montage where a character repeatedly dies.
- Drunken Montage: A montage focusing on a single, drunk character.
- Exploding Calendar: Time is shown passing by having calendar pages flip, tear off, or days get crossed out.
- Failure Montage: A montage of one or more characters trying to do a specific thing, but failing.
- Falling-in-Love Montage: A montage of two characters developing a romance.
- Fan Edit: An unofficial edit of a work.
- Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: A woman buys many new outfits with her friend or boyfriend and poses like a model in each one (not always a montage, but usually is).
- Flashback-Montage Realization: A montage of previous scenes is shown as a character realises something that puts those things in a new light.
- Fully Automatic Clip Show: A montage focusing on a single action or phrase.
- Gilligan Cut: A character insists they won't do something. By the next scene, they're doing or have done exactly what they said they wouldn't.
- Gluttony Montage: A montage of a character eating.
- Good-Times Montage: A montage that shows a character or characters having fun.
- Happier Home Movie: A sad character watches a home movie of times they were happy.
- Hard-Work Montage: A montage of a character working home.
- House-Hunting Montage: A montage of a character looking for somewhere to live.
- Indestructibility Montage: A montage of someone trying, and failing, to kill a person or destroy a thing.
- Interrogation Montage: Characters being interrogated or interviewed, and it cuts to a different character answering the question each time.
- Kuleshov Effect: The actor is making the same expression, but it conveys different emotions based on the context.
- Lipstick-and-Load Montage: A montage of a woman dressing and applying makeup.
- Lock-and-Load Montage: A montage of one or more characters preparing for a fight.
- Lost Love Montage: A montage of scenes from a now-broken romance.
- Loved Ones Montage: A montage of a character's friends, family, lover, etc. that enables them to overcome an obstacle.
- Madness Montage: A montage of an unhinged character.
- Makeover Montage: A montage of a (usually female) character being made over.
- Montage Ends the VHS: A VHS tape that ends on either a montage or a series of ads.
- Montage Out: A montage that conveys everyone's emotions.
- Mugshot Montage: A montage of photos taken after a character's arrest.
- Musical Slapstick Montage: A montage of Amusing Injuries, set to fast music.
- "Nations of the World" Montage: A montage of people in various countries doing the same thing.
- Necro Cam: A Flashback-Montage Realization about how a character died.
- Obituary Montage: A montage of people who died the previous year.
- Odessa Steps: A violent montage on a staircase.
- On Patrol Montage: A montage of a character doing heroics.
- On the Next: Every episode of a television show ends with a sneak peek of scenes from the next episode.
- Opening Monologue: A monologue explaining the show's premise (doesn't require a montage, but one is usually present).
- Photo-Booth Montage: A montage of photos taken at a photo booth, usually by a couple.
- Photo Montage: A montage of photos.
- Pranking Montage: Montage that shows characters pulling pranks.
- Previously on…: The later parts of a multi-part episode each begin with a few clips of the earlier parts so that new viewers can be brought up to speed on what's happened so far without having to watch the earlier parts first.
- Progressive Era Montage: A montage that shows time changing from one era to another.
- Really Dead Montage: After a character is killed off, a montage of scenes where they were still alive is played solely to emphasize that the character isn't coming back and that their death is permanent.
- Recap by Audit: The aftermath of an event reveals or sums up what happened.
- Recovery Sequence: A thing is shown being fixed, not always with a montage but often.
- Right Now Montage: A montage of several characters doing normal things.
- Robotic Assembly Lines: An assembly line made of robots (usually shown as a montage of it making something).
- Sad-Times Montage: A montage of a sad character.
- Sex Montage: A montage showing many couples having sex, or a couple having a lot of sex.
- Shopping Montage: A woman taking a younger character, usually her daughter, clothes shopping, set to a montage.
- Spinning Clock Hands: A spinning clock is seen while a montage plays.
- Spinning Paper: Newspapers spin into view with front page headlines relevant to the developments of the episode's plot.
- Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Someone explains (usually over a montage but not necessarily) the horrors that'd happen if someone else didn't act.
- Terrible Interviewees Montage: A montage where various people are interviewed for an available job, with each applicant proving that they are very unqualified.
- Time-Compression Montage: A montage that happens to show the passage of time.
- Time Lapse: An under-cranked shot.
- Time-Passes Montage: A montage where the position of the camera stays the same.
- Title Montage: The opening intro shows a montage.
- Training Montage: A montage of a person undergoing training to prepare for something.
- Travelling Salesman Montage: A Failure Montage of someone trying to date, sell things, etc.
- Travel Montage: A montage of a journey.
- Unfolding Plan Montage: A montage that shows characters formulating, and acting out, a plan.
- Unguided Lab Tour: A top-secret workplace is introduced by having a character explore it unnoticed.
- Writer's Block Montage: A montage of an uninspired writer.
- Experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner's films, such as A Movie and Report, are full of Montages (as are Arthur Lipsett and others).
- Award-winning short film Precious Images is one long montage from beginning to end, being a compilation of all of cinema history as presented in a collage of film clips.
- Frank Film, the Oscar winning animated short from Frank Mouris using cut-outs from old magazines.
- American surrealist master Joseph Cornell's Rose Horbart, The Aviary and By Night with Torch and Spear.
- Koyaanisqatsi, or Life Out of Balance all in one Montage.
- Sergei Eisenstein, if he didn't invent the montage at least perfected it.
- One particular sequence, in October (also known as Ten Days the Shook the World), 1928, there is a sequence where single frames of the muzzle of a machine gun and of the gunner are alternated. There is also a sequence which violates part of the given definition, where shots of three stone lions in different positions appear as a single statue spring to its feet.
- Also check out The Battleship Potemkin (its infamous Odessa Steps sequence listed above).
- Strike ends with shots of the striking workers being massacred intercut with a graphic film clip of a cow being slaughtered.
- An example that doesn't really fit in any of the sub categories (though its close to Slapstick) is a Seinfeld episode where George is believed to be handicapped at his new job, and goes through a montage while "My Baby Takes The Morning Train" plays, showing him accidentally tripping a coworker with his cane, being carried by another, and then goofing off sword-fighting with his cane until caught-he throws the cane down and acts like he's injured.
- Special mention: Homestar Runner spoofed these in the Strong Bad Email "montage". After a fan asked him if he could "creat a montage" (sic), Strong Bad did four montages, all involving a "wagon fulla pancakes". One had Strong Bad and the wagon just hanging out, another had Strong Bad falling in love with the Wagon Fulla Pancakes, the third had The Cheat and the Wagon Fulla Pancakes as "down-on-their-luck door-to-door salesmen", and the last one was a Training Montage with the Wagon Fulla Pancakes "training for the champeenship" and besting Homestar. And to top it all off, he did an end credits Photo Montage, complete with captions out of a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
Strong Bad: Those were some good montages, eh Watered Down? That was like, a montage of montages.
- The biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers is rife with these: a Time-Compression Montage charting his rise to U.K. film stardom, a Falling-in-Love Montage for his courtship of Britt Ekland, a Madness Montage when she leaves him that becomes a Time-Compression Montage (the film moves from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s), a Happier Home Movie sequence, and finally an Anger Montage (burning his old film memorabilia) intercut with a version of Writer's Block Montage (trying to find the character of Chance the Gardener). Whew!
- The films of Fernando Meirelles feature many montage sequences.
- Roughly 90% of City of God is composed of montage sequences, including Lock-and-Load Montage and a Time-Passes Montage that spans the entire history of drugdealing in an apartment.
- The Constant Gardener features both a Falling-in-Love Montage and a Lost Love Montage for the same person. It also features a Hard-Work Montage.
- Robot Chicken manages to create the Anthropomorphic Personification of the montage as... the superhero, Montage!
- This Cracked article contains the outline for a quite a few.
- Both The Simpsons and Futurama use musical montages all the time, usually with licensed songs.
- The Sound of Music has two montages involving Maria and the children: one following "My Favorite Things," and another that makes the endless repeats of "Do-Re-Mi" considerably less boring.
- Arrested Development episode "Making a Stand" has two sequences which parody musical montages. In the first, the narrator complains that even with music over the top, the sequence of images wasn't funny; he says it would have been better with "Yellow Submarine", but they couldn't afford that. The second montage has similar complaints from the narrator and a cheaper song about a yellow boat.
- The literal Montage number from A Chorus Line stitches together 4 songs to tell 17 dancers' adolescences.
- Ultra Fast Pony frequently uses and spoofs montages.
Rarity: Oh, Opalescence, today has not been my day. Why, not even a montage would cheer me up.
- The episode "Winning" has the caption: "Montages... for when I'm too lazy to write anything."
- Then "Saying Words" has this one:
[The first notes of "Becoming Popular" play.]
Rarity: Whoa whoa whoa whoa, hey, hey stop the music! What are you doing? I told you a montage wouldn't work!
- For Lupin III: Dead or Alive, we are treated to an information gathering montage as Olèander tries to find out if Pannish is really alive or not. The audience hears a nice walking song, while Olèander spends all day searching the city. She starts from the market, but by the end of the day, she's walking around in the shady parts of the city.
- In Irrelevator there is a poop/fart montage. ◊
- In Fiorello!, a newsreel summarizes Fiorello's exploits as a pilot in World War I
- Chuck Workman won an Oscar for Precious Images, a Film Montage Of Awesome.
- Guy Ritchie's anachronistic take on the legend of King Arthur has plenty of montages, including Training Montage, Hard-Work Montage, Travel Montage, Unfolding Plan Montage, and Time-Compression Montage.
- Main Street Meats: Late in the movie, we're shown a montage of Neddy killing people, and their bodies being fed through a meat grinder.
- Playing With Dolls: After settling into the house, Cindy decides to try out the various outfits she finds in the closet (which she was told belonged to the houses previous caretaker).
- Christmas Blood: There's a montage in the movie that cuts between the main group having fun at Julie's house, and Detective Terje investigating the Santa killer.
- Ghost Lab (2021): At one point, we see a montage of Dr. Gla interviewing people about their encounters with ghosts, and going to supposedly haunted places looking for ghosts.