Download The Technique of Film and Video Editing, Fifth Edition: History, Theory, and Practice PDF

TitleThe Technique of Film and Video Editing, Fifth Edition: History, Theory, and Practice
PublisherFocal Press
ISBN 139780240813974
CategoryArts - Film
File Size6.7 MB
Total Pages486
Table of Contents
                            THE TECHNIQUE OF FILM AND VIDEO EDITING
	Point of View
	The Role of Experimental and Documentary Films
	The Role of Technology
	The Role of the Editor
	Organization of this Book
	A Word about Video
	A Word about Film Examples
Section 1 History of Film Editing
	CHAPTER 1 The Silent Period
		Edwin S. Porter: Film Continuity Begins
		D. W. Griffith: Dramatic Construction
		Vsevolod I. Pudovkin: Constructive Editing and Heightened Realism
		Sergei Eisenstein: The Theory of Montage
		Dziga Vertov: The Experiment of Realism
		Alexander Dovzhenko: Editing by Visual Association
		Luis Buñuel: Visual Discontinuity
	CHAPTER 2 The Early Sound Film
		Technological Limitations
		Technological Improvements
		Theoretical Issues Concerning Sound
		Early Experiment in Sound—Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail
		Sound, Time, and Place: Fritz Lang’s M
		The Dynamic of Sound: Rouben Mamoulian’s Applause
	CHAPTER 3 The Influence of the Documentary
		Ideas About Society
		Ideas About Art and Culture
		Ideas About War and Society
	CHAPTER 4 The Influence of the Popular Arts
		The Musical
		The Theatre
	CHAPTER 5 Editors Who Became Directors
		Robert Wise
		David Lean
	CHAPTER 6 Experiments in Editing: Alfred Hitchcock
		A Simple Introduction: Parallel Action
		A Dramatic Punctuation: The Sound Cut
		Dramatic Discovery: Cutting on Motion
		Suspense: The Extreme Long Shot
		Levels of Meaning: The Cutaway
		Intensity: The Close-up
		The Moment as Eternity: The Extreme Close-up
		The Unity of Sound
		The Orthodoxy of the Visual: The Chase
		Dreamstates: Subjectivity and Motion
	CHAPTER 7 New Technologies
		The Wide Screen
		Cinéma Vérité
	CHAPTER 8 International Advances
		The Dynamics of Relativity
		The Jump Cut and Discontinuity
		Objective Anarchy: Jean-Luc Godard
		Melding Past and Present: Alain Resnais
		Interior Life as External Landscape
	CHAPTER 9 The Influence of Television and Theatre
	CHAPTER 10 New Challenges to Filmic Narrative Conventions
		Peckinpah: Alienation and Anarchy
		Altman: The Freedom of Chaos
		Kubrick: New Worlds and Old
		Herzog: Other Worlds
		Scorsese: The Dramatic Document
		Wenders: Mixing Popular and Fine Art
		Lee: Pace and Social Action
		Von Trotta: Feminism and Politics
		Feminism and Antinarrative Editing
		Mixing Genres
	CHAPTER 11 The MTV Influence on Editing I
		Where We Are Now—The State of the MTV Style
		Oliver Stone’s Career
	CHAPTER 12 The MTV Influence on Editing II
		The Case of Saving Private Ryan
		The Case of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
		The Case of In the Mood for Love
		The Case of Life Is Beautiful
		The Case of Tampopo
	CHAPTER 13 Changes in Pace
		Evolution of Pace in Filmmaking
		Anti-Pace in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds
	CHAPTER 14 The Appropriation of Style I: Imitation and Innovation
		Narrative and Style
		Style for Its Own Sake
		Breaking Expectations
		Imitation versus Innovation
		Imitation and Innovation
	CHAPTER 15 The Appropriation of Style II: Limitation and Innovation
		The Elevation of Cinéma Vérité
		The Return of Mise-en-Scène
		The Close-Up and the Long Shot
		Camera Placement and Pace: The Intervention of Subjective States
	CHAPTER 16 The Appropriation of Style III: Digital Reality
		Artificial Reality
Section 2 Goals of Editing
	CHAPTER 17 Editing for Narrative Clarity
		The Plot-Driven Film
		The Character-Driven Film
	CHAPTER 18 Editing for Dramatic Emphasis
		United 93
	CHAPTER 19 Editing for Subtext
		The Departed
		Lust, Caution
		There Will Be Blood
	CHAPTER 20 Editing for Aesthetics
		Brighton Rock
		The Third Man
		The Passion
Section 3 Editing for the Genre
	CHAPTER 21 Action
		The Contemporary Context
		Case Study: A History of Violence: An Alternative Action Sequence
	CHAPTER 22 Dialog
		Dialog and Plot
		Dialog and Character
		Multipurpose Dialog
		Trouble in Paradise: An Early Dialog Sequence
		Chinatown: A Contemporary Dialog Sequence
		Michael Clayton: Dialog as Transformative Device
	CHAPTER 23 Comedy
		Character Comedy
		Situation Comedy
		Editing Concerns
		The Comedy Director
		The Past: The Lady Eve—The Early Comedy of Role Reversal
		The Present: Victor Victoria—A Contemporary Comedy of Role Reversal
		Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Emotional Role Reversal
	CHAPTER 24 Documentary
		Questions of Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics
		Analysis of Documentary Sequences—Memorandum
		A Sequence with Little Narration
	CHAPTER 25 Imaginative Documentary
		Altering Meaning Away from the Literal
		The Wartime Documentary: Imagination and Propaganda
		The Case of Listen to Britain
	CHAPTER 26 Innovations in Documentary I
		The Personal Documentary
		Changes in the Use of Narration
	CHAPTER 27 Innovations in Documentary II
Section 4 Principles of Editing
	CHAPTER 28 The Picture Edit and Continuity
		Constructing a Lucid Continuity
		Providing Adequate Coverage
		Matching Action
		Preserving Screen Direction
		Setting the Scene
		Matching Tone
		Matching Flow Over a Cut
		Change in Location
		Change in Scene
	CHAPTER 29 The Picture Edit and Pace
		Time and Place
		The Possibilities of Randomness Upon Pace
	CHAPTER 30 Nonlinear Editing and Digital Technology I
		The Technological Revolution
		The Nonlinear Narrative
	CHAPTER 31 Nonlinear Editing and Digital Technology II
		The Framework
		The Case of The Ice Storm
		The Case of Happiness
		The Case of The Thin Red Line
		The Case of Magnolia
	CHAPTER 32 Conclusion
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The Technique of Film
and Video Editing

Fifth Edition

Page 243

recently committed suicide. The manager of the hotel is with her. She begins to search for
her sister and eventually finds the suicide note left by her. This sequence is one of distance

and observation in Helene’s search for her sister. The shots are longer and the movement

subjectively echoes Helene’s point of view.

The pace is faster than the Christian sequence but not as hectic as the shots relating to

Michael. Overall, the pace here creates a sense of dynamism but also emotional tension. The

restlessness of the camera echoes the emotional out-of-breath quality of Helge’s children. We
don’t yet know why, but by the end of Act I, we are emotionally exhausted and the party is

just about to really begin. This is the power of the editing style Vinterberg employs. He uses
cinéma vérité to add a layer of veracity to the narrative.

This impulse is magnified fivefold in Erick Zonca’s The Dreamlife of Angels (1998). Isa and

Marie are twentysomething young women. The narrative takes place in Lille, France, today.
Isa is from the South. Both are marginal in the sense that they are uneducated, unskilled

young women. Although Isa is more the drifter, she has a more optimistic personality. Marie

is negative and angry. In The Dreamlife of Angels, Zonca frames the narrative with the friend-
ship of these two women, and like any relationship, this one has the arc of meeting, growing

closer, growing apart, and ending the relationship. Within this metastructure, Zonca explores

two relationships: Isa’s relationship with a young girl in a coma, and Marie’s with a rich
young man. The apartment in which the women live is owned by the young girl’s mother,

who died as a consequence of the car accident that left the young girl in a coma. The relation-

ship between Isa and the girl in a coma would appear to be an impossible one but it isn’t. In
the case of Marie, Zonca follows her relationship with a rich young man who is clearly a

womanizer. He is a poor choice for Marie, and when he abandons her, leaving Isa to give

Marie the news, Marie at first blames Isa, pushes Isa away, and then finally commits suicide.

The style Zonca chooses reflects in a general way cinéma vérité—a handheld camera, tight

two-shots (in cramped spaces), lots of close-ups of functional activity such as writing in a
journal. The footage has a captured quality, as opposed to one that is staged, and this too is

symptomatic of cinéma vérité. But Zonca has more in mind than to observe two marginal-

ized young women. He wants the level of observation to promote a love for his characters
rather than an assessment of them. To promote this level of involvement with his two main

characters, Zonca needs to adopt what I call hyper-realism, a much more intense experience

than the veracity yielded from cinéma vérité. As a consequence, Zonca first truncates scenes.

He doesn’t move from an establishing shot into midshots of interactions between characters,

to a cutaway for a new idea, to a close-up for dramatic emphasis, to midshot to long shot as
he concludes the scene. Rather he is very selective. Scenes are constructed of fewer shots, and

the shots that are employed are used to emotionally heat up the experience of the scene. This

means that scenes are mostly presented in midshots and close-ups. It also means that the
camera placement crowds the action. There is very little space between us and the characters.

In one scene, for example, Isa is offering breakfast coffee to Marie. They are recent acquain-

tances. Marie, at Isa’s request, has allowed Isa to sleep in the apartment. Call this a

216 CHAPTER 15: The Appropriation of Style II: Limitation and Innovation

Page 244

breakthrough-in-the-relationship scene—the two will be friends. There is no detail of the
bedroom’s geography in the scene, only the two young women. It’s as if Zonca wants to

push us toward them, the last two human beings on Earth. In this scene, Zonca creates a

sense of togetherness as well as isolation from geography, the apartment, and other people.
Most of his scenes proceed with this level of intimacy vis-à-vis the young women and this

level of isolation from society at large. When we do see the young women with others—

Marie with an early corpulent lover or Isa with the young girl in a coma—Zonca approaches
the scenes with the same sense of inclusion and exclusion. The result is intense, emotional,

and involving—the hyper-realism that goes beyond cinéma vérité.


As a style, mise-en-scène is associated with Orson Welles in Citizen Kane (1941) and Touch of

Evil (1958), and with Max Ophuls in Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) and Lola Montès

(1955). These filmmakers, building upon the work of F. W. Murnau in the 1920s (The Last
Laugh, 1924), essentially moved the camera to avoid editing. The elegance of their camera

movement recorded performance and added a more subtle editorial direction.

In Welles’s case, a sense of aesthetic virtuosity was created; in the case of Ophuls, it was a

sense of romantic longing and energy. The former impulse, that of technical virtuosity and

the filmic aesthetic, infuse the early camera movement in the career of Stanley Kubrick (Paths
of Glory, 1957). Only later would Kubrick use the camera movement to slow down the pace

of the film in order to recreate the seventeenth-century sense of time and place in Barry

Lyndon (1975) or the accelerated sense of the future in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The lat-
ter impulse, the moody romanticism of Ophuls, resonates in the mise-en-scène work of

Roberto Rossellini and Luchino Visconti. But none of these filmmakers was as effective at

using the moving camera to conjure the inner emotional state of the main character as was
F. W. Murnau. Hitchcock tried to capture the feeling but was more effective when he resorted

to a cutaway or subjective sound.

What about mise-en-scène today, in the era of rapid pace and authorial intervention? Today
the work of Luc Besson, Oliver Stone, and John Frankenheimer reflects the influence of

Eisenstein rather than Murnau. But in spite of the preference for the fast cut, there is a

renewed interest in mise-en-scène, particularly in the work of Stanley Kubrick and Martin
Scorsese, and it is to this work that we now turn.

Stanley Kubrick’s last film Eyes Wide Shut (1999) differs substantially from his previous work.
Kubrick principally gravitated to genre work, which gave him an opportunity to explore aes-

thetic challenge and moral failure.

This dialectic operates in his war films, Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket (1987); his satires,
Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1963); his horror film, The Shining (1979); his science-

fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey; his gangster film, The Killing (1969); and his epics,

Spartacus (1960) and Barry Lyndon. As mentioned earlier, Kubrick enjoyed the challenge of

The Return of Mise-en-Scène 217

Page 485

subjective camera placement

in Alfred Hitchcock’s work,
87, 91

for match cuts, 373�375, 375f
pace and subjective states,

preserving screen direction, 376

subjective states, 227�232
subtext, editing for, 264,

The Departed (2006), 271�272
Lust, Caution (2006), 272�273
rhythm and, 384
Saving Private Ryan (1997),

There Will Be Blood (2007),

survival, moment of, 287�288
Swing Time (1936), 64
synchronization of sound, 33�34

Tampopo (1987), 177�178,

Tarantino, Quentin, 208, 222,

397, 398
Inglourious Basterds (2009),

Pulp Fiction (1994), 208�211,

222, 397, 399, 400
Tarkovsky, Andrei, 221
Tati, Jacques, 319�320
television, influence of, 133�136.

See also MTV style
The Terminator (1984), 290

dialog in, 302
theatre, influence of, 65�66,

There Will Be Blood (2007),

The Thin Blue Line (1988), 163,

The Thin Red Line (1998), 268,

399, 405�409
The Third Man (1949), 279�282
The 39 Steps (1935), 88�89,

Thirty-two Short Films About Glen

Gould (1993), 397�398
Three Brothers (1980), 388�389
thriller genre, pace in, 195�197
Thriller music video, 171

Tichenor, Dylan See There Will Be
Blood (2007)

time See also film continuity;
narrative; pace

collapsing, 67
in David Lean’s work, 84
dissolves, 375�376
matching real time and screen

time, 74�75
melding past and present,

obliterated, in MTV style, 165,

sense of, pace and, 387�388
shower scene in Psycho, 92
sound editing and, 38�41
transitional sequence in

documentary, 330�332
timing, 382�383. See also pace
To Be or Not to Be (1942),

TODD-AO format, 101
Tom Jones (1963), 139
tonal montage, 18�20
tone, matching, 378
Tootsie (1982), 316
Top Gun (1986), 169�170, 171
Touch of Evil (1958), 205, 217,

289, 381, 382
tracking shot, birth of, 5
transformative dialog, 312�313
transitional sequence in

documentary, 330�332
A Trip to the Moon (1902), 227
triptych format, 99, 100f
Triumph of the Will (1935), 56,

328, 364
Trouble in Paradise (1932),

306�309, 307f
Truffaut, François, 118�121
Twelve Monkeys (1995), 205�206
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968),

107�108, 148, 149, 217,
277, 387

Un Chien Anadalou (1929), 27,

27f, 28f, 29f, 227
United 93 (2006), 255�261

close-up in, 258�259
compared to Frost/Nixon

(2008), 264, 266
docudrama event, 258

dynamic montage, 259�260
pace, 260�261

Up in the Air (2009), 326

Valmont (1989), 249
Van Dyke, W. S., 54�56
Variety (1925), 13
vaudeville, influence of, 61�64
Verhoeven, Paul, 290, 291

Robocop (1987), 291
Vertigo (1958), 95�97, 96f
Vertov, Dziga, 12, 23�25, 349,

The Man with a Movie Camera

(1929), 23, 24f, 25f, 349,
363, 395

Very Nice, Very Nice (1961), 343
Victor/Victoria (1982), 321�326,

video, using instead of film,

Vidor, King, 32, 395

Duel in the Sun (1946), 289
Vinterberg, Thomas, 214, 349

The Celebration (1998),
214�216, 238

violence, 143�146. See also war
Visconti, Luchino, 108�109, 217
VistaVision, 100
visual association, editing by,

visual continuity See film

visual dimension of personal

documentary, 350
visual discontinuity, 118�121.

See also film continuity
birth of, 27�31

visual storytelling See narrative

in nonlinear editing, 399, 402,
404, 407�409, 411�412

in personal documentary, 351,

von Trier, Lars, 214, 235, 349
von Trotta, Margarethe, 158�160

Walk the Line (2005), 239
war See also Holocaust

documentary as propaganda,
328, 343�347, 343f, 350

458 Index

Page 486

Full Metal Jacket (1987),
217�218, 277, 387, 388f,

Holocaust documentary See
Memorandum (1966)

ideas about, 56�60
Inglourious Basterds (2009),

Saving Private Ryan (1997),

178�182, 223, 267�268,
366, 408

The Thin Red Line (1998), 268,
399, 405�409

The War Game (1967), 110
War of the Worlds (2005),

235�236, 240
Watkins, Peter, 110, 133�134,

Week End (1967), 396
Weekend (1967), 121, 122f
Welles, Orson, 66, 217

Citizen Kane (1941), 66�69,
68f, 72�73, 217, 393, 395

Touch of Evil (1958), 205, 217,
289, 381, 382

Wenders, Wim, 152�153,
169�170, 397

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
(1980), 351

Wertmüller, Lina, 158
West Side Story (1961), 77�79, 78f
Westerns, using CinemaScope

format, 102�103

Wexler, Haskell, 71
What’s Up, Doc? (1972), 287
Whore (1991), 160
Why We Fight series (1943�1945),

56�57, 343, 364
wide screen format, 99�109

background, 106�107
relationship, 101, 102f

character and, 102�104
Cinerama, 100
environment and, 102�106
relationships and, 104�106

Wiene, Robert, 13
The Wild Bunch (1969), 143�146,

146f, 277
pace, 194

Wilde, Cornel, 205
Wilder, Billy, 319
Winkler, Irwin, 71
Winter Light (1962), 389
Wise, Robert, 72�79

I Want to Live! (1958), 75�77,

The Set-Up (1949), 74�75
West Side Story (1961), 77�79,

woman-men reversals See role

reversal comedy
women as directors, 158,

The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni

Riefenstahl (1995), 357

Woo, John, pace of, 194
Working Girls (1973), 160
world building

of Stanley Kubrick, 148�150
of Werner Herzog, 150

Woyzek (1979), 351
Wrestling (1960), 341
Wright, Basil, 36, 49�51

Night Mail (1936), 49�51,
50f, 341, 363

Song of Ceylon (1934), 341
Wright, Joe See Atonement

writers becoming directors, 71
Wyler, William, 65�66,

115, 343
Ben Hur (1959), 289

Yates, Peter, 290

Bullitt (1968), 197,
277, 290

Yimou, Zhang, 198�199
Ying xiong (Hero) (2002),


Z (1969), 382
Zinnemann, Fred, 207

High Noon (1952), 144, 207,

Zonca, Erick, 213, 216

Index 459

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