Editing Theory

26 12 2007

chained to the cinematheque has part one what I can only assume will be a multi-part series dealing with image context today (with a bow to the Visceral Realists and Crimen Falsi). There are some interesting discussions in it, but one really cool thing is it has a clip from an interview with Alfred Hitchcock talking about editing. He posits that there are three types of editing ( he refuses to call it “cutting”, choosing to call it assembly instead): assembling a complex series of shots to give the illusion of an action (he uses the shower murder in PSYCHO to illustrate that), the assembling of disparate shot sizes (he uses PSYCHO’s scene of the killing of Martin Balsalm to illustrate that), and then the assembling of shots to create emotion (for which he puts together his own footage). This last is what we know as the Kuleshov effect or what I choose to call “The Rule of Threes” in my class.

To see this great piece, click on its YouTube link.

There is a great discussion about ambiguity and the work of Antonioni. I’m going to have to give this one some real going over before I talk about it, but I wanted to give you the link and requote Antonioni from Luminous Landscape on Framing Art:

“We know that behind every image revealed there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that no one will ever see.”

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One response

30 12 2007
Dave

Norman,
I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I do expect to put together a Part 2; I’ll probably address in greater depth the creation of ambiguity through narrative and how the image works to create that. If that’s the direction I end up taking, Antonioni will feature heavily once again.

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