Slavko Vorkapich

1894 - 1976

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Slavko Vorkapichwas both a major film theorist and a distinguished Hollywood practitioner of his own famous theory of montage editing. His forty-year career in Hollywood included providing montage sequences for such directors as Howard Hawks, George Cukor and Frank Capra. Vorkapich was also a pioneer for the American experimental film, having co-directed THE LIFE AND DEATH OF 9413: A HOLLYWOOD EXTRA (1928) with Robert Florey, and MOODS OF THE SEA (1941) and FOREST MURMURS (1947) with filmmaker John Hoffman (1904-1980).

He is best known for his montage work on Hollywood films such as VIVA VILLA (1934), DAVID COPPERFIELD (1935), SAN FRANCISCO (1936), THE GOOD EARTH (1937), and MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939). The now-common montage sequence often appeared as notation in Hollywood scripts of the 1930s and 40s as the "Vorkapich", because of his mastery of dynamic visual editing, wherein time and space are compressed using a variety of editing techniques and camera moves. Vorkapich used kinetic editing, lapse dissolves, tracking shots, creative graphics and optical effects for his own stunning montage sequences for such features as MEET JOHN DOE, MAYTIME, CRIME WITHOUT PASSION, MANHATTAN MELODRAMA, FIREFLY, and MANHATTAN COCKTAIL. [Source: Vlada Petric, "True Cinema: The Legacy of Slavko Vorkapich", April 15, 2009]