Editing and Narrative.


Past and Present in a linear mode; techniques of memory and hallucination in the narrative film.

Spatial and Temporal Unity; the continuity system ensures narrative continuity, the role of the film editor (James Bond film). The 180 degree system eg North by North West, The Shining.

Some types of transition
Cut ; one frame flipped to reveal another instantaneously; jumpcut, a break in a shot's continuity of time by removing a section from the shot and splicing back (Godard); match-cut a transition from one shot to another to match eg the bone to space ship in 2001.
Super, superimposition`, the printing of 2 shots on the same length of film.
Dissolve (or mix) the end of one shot merges slowly into the next.
Wipe ; a second shot appears and wipes off the first; can be flipover wipe, soft edge wipe,and in various directions.
Iris-in and iris-out, shot opens with expanding or contracting circle of light (Night of the Hunter)
Examples used
Streets of Fire (Walter Hill, 1984); after the kidnap of rock star Ellen Aim, a bar owner in this fable sends for her brother to come and rescue her. Hill is a writer and editor of great accomplishment, here using some interesting devices.Citizen Kane.(Orson Welles, 1941), dissolves achieved in the camera to depict the deterioration of a marriage in an economic yet vivid way.

Spatial and Temporal Discontinuity
Jacques Tati and the 360 degree space, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)
Godard and the jump cut (Breathless,1959 not illustrated)
Dziga Vertov and the layerings and distortions of The Man with the Movie Camera 1928
.ambiguity of cross cutting/ split screen, (de Palma Blow Out1 1981) setting up a series of cross references in the narrative in the title sequence.

Material for debate
In narrative terms what effect do the following films aim to achieve and how do they achieve it ?
It may be convenient to look at the way dreams are portrayed,

Raising Arizona (Coen 1987); having kidnapped a perfect little baby, the male lead dreams of the Last Biker of the Apocalypse, so keep your windows closed.

Rumble Fish (Coppola 1983); the male lead is cornered and mugged in an alley. As his jacket is being searched he imagines in a dream how his friends will greet his death.

Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer 1962); Sinatra as a soldier back from captivity in Korea. He has been brainwashed and only in dreams does he decode the ordeal of testing the captive's consciousness.

Spellbound (Hitchcock 1945, the narrated dream) Gregory Peck seeks to explain a recurring dream, here designed by Dali for Hitchcock. The wheel in the hand is.... a revolver. Hitchcock's brief flirtation with Dr.Freud.

Vertigo (Hitchcock 1958, the dream experienced), Scottie has seen the woman he was hired to protect fall to her death. He believes that in another life she was Carlotta, a 19th century beauty, identified in the film by her posy of flowers. In Hitchcock's dream sequence he uses many devices to show the sense of guilt, the sense of oppression and the hero's vertigo.


We'll look in detail at the ways the editor suggests

The disturbed sleeper
sequence of images
manipulation of the image