Even though today's Google Doodle falls in the midst of Hollywood's awards season (post SAGs, pre-Oscar nominations), the animation adorning the search engine's homepage is not a reference to any of this year's nominated movies. It is, however, an homage to a key figure in film history, Sergei Eisenstein.
Head to Google today and you'll see a sketch of Eisenstein — his hair askew, surrounded by moving film strips and armed with a pair of scissors. The Russian film director and producer is known as "the father of montage," a scene cutting technique used in many modern movies and shows to quickly move plots forward and suggest the passage of time. These cleverly edited shortcuts are often used to depict a character's Cinderella-like transformations: Remember Julia Roberts's luxe Rodeo Drive shopping sequence in Pretty Woman? Or Jennifer Grey's dancing lessons in Dirty Dancing? Both of those scenes have roots in Eisenstein's work.
Eisenstein, who was born on January 22, 1898, was the son of an wealthy architect. He started his career as an engineer in the Red Army, then pursued an interest in film by participating in a workshop with Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov. He went on to create pioneering films including Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and Ivan the Terrible. According to Google's Doodle Blog, Eisenstein, despite his upbringing, often used his movies depict stories of class struggles. As a result, communist rulers sought to censor some of the director's work. Although his movies are respected today, Eisenstein never found success or recognition in Hollywood during his lifetime.