Memes are like the old propaganda art from the past...
Building a better tomorrow
Using a single drawing and a few sentences of text--the same raw material used to create Marmaduke--propaganda posters were supposed to influence the way people thought about their government and even their fellow man. As the below collection of posters demonstrates, no matter how unsuccessful the poster, propaganda is invaluable at teaching two timeless lessons: Your government thinks you're stupid, and when faced with unreasonable expectations, some people will lose their shit in hilarious ways.
Static images and text. Yes, they work. But, there is always more...
When motion pictures and cinematography came along new avenues for psychological expression became available. Cutting and splicing film together to tell a story without dialog took much thought and experiments to perfect. A new form of attaching meaning to images presented to an audience began to took shape: The Montage.
Lev Kuleshov was the first to experiment in this technique using juxtaposition to form his examples. It involves assembling specific shots and connecting an emotion to it.
Basically, an actor doesn't need to do anything. The film maker will use and expression on a face and then cut to another image to express a specific meaning.
Alfred Hitchcock explained it best.
Kuleshov’s Effect: The Man behind Soviet Montage
It was in 1918 that Lev Kuleshov—film theorist, father of the Soviet Montage school of cinema, director of The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924), political partisan, teacher—ventured a hypothesis. The hypothesis: the dramatic effect of a film was found not in the content of its shots but rather in the edits that join them together.
Kuleshov put his hypothesis to the test. Taking an expressionless long shot of the actor Ivan Mozzhukhin peering into the camera—presumably, because footage of the original experiment has been lost— he broke it into three parts. Then he intercut each practically-identical segment with three other shots—a bowl of steaming soup, an attractive young woman, and a child lying dead in a coffin. When he showed the segments to audiences and polled their reactions, they swore that Mozzhukhin’s expression had changed from piece to piece. When staring at the soup, Mozzhukhin was hungry; at the young woman, lustful; at the child, mournful.
Kuleshov tended to exaggerate the implications of these constructs: “it was not important how the shots were taken, but how these shots were assembled.” Alfred Hitchcock, decades apart and worlds away, called it “pure cinema,” when the montage gives rise to meanings that exist nowhere to the eye, but only in the mind. This interplay between montage, perception, and meaning has come to be known as the “Kuleshov Effect.”
The first and most basic is metric editing, based on the length of a shot. It creates the tempo of the film.
The second editing method is rhythmic montage, based on both the length of a shot and the dynamics of the scenes. In other words, it also considers the rhythm of the action depicted.
Next is the tonal editing method, which focuses on the lighting, shadows, and colors of the edited scenes.
The over-tonal method combines the first three method in a holistic approach.
The last and most complex editing method, and Eisenstein’s favorite, is the intellectual method. It creates new meaning through editing by combining shots on the basis of a conceptual connection between them.
Building on the works of D.W. Griffith and the development of “continuity editing” in early film history, Soviet silent filmmakers would pioneer new innovative ideas about editing that moved film from an extension of theater into a mature and powerful artistic medium.
Going through the history of these magic light effects helps to understand where psychological priming comes from. Especially using imagery to create emotion into an audience. Today, the internet is able to encourage these effects with greater influence and ability.