Nov 18, 2003
Assignments for Next Week
Handouts for this Week
Lesson for This Week
Over the last several weeks, we've been looking at
various aspects of the building blocks of editing -- the cuts, the
scene, and the sequence. Knowing how to manipulate those elements
helps to make for great editing. But there is something much less
definable that helps give each film a different flavor -- style.
So, what is style? And how do you get it?
going to take a look at Wong Kar-Wei's 1995 Hong Kong film FALLEN
ANGELS (Duoluo tianshi). Right from the beginning of the film
it establishes a very different type of style and reasoning from
OUT OF SIGHT.
The sequence we are looking at tonight is about two-thirds
of the way through the film. Wong Chi-Ming has tired of his life
as a hitman and wants to break out of it, which would end the relationship
with his Agent who
he may be in love with, but who certainly is captivated by him. There
is a second plot but our scene tonight comes as Chi-Ming accepts
one final job which is initiated in the same way as always -- his
Agent places an ad on the front page of a Hong Kong newspaper that
sets all of the action in motion.
Here is how one reviewer (Ed Shum at
his web site)
described the film:
short film about killing: the marriage of rhythm, texture and visual
is consummated in the gloriously
climactic gunplay scenes. It is as if Chris Doyle was outdoing
CUNGKING EXPRESS (quite
a degree of that film was shot by Andrew Lau) with the gleeful
agreement of Wong Kar-Wai and William Chang. But these are no
ordinary scenes of violence:
whilst stylish and stylised bloodshed is very common in Hong
Kong cinema, Wong Kar-Wai’s scenes push very little narrative
points - and there is a moral detachment which isn’t often
seen in Hong Kong’s
gun-toting movie heroes. In essence, we have the fight divorced
from the cause - the spectacle divorced from the need. Though
form a crucial element to the feel of the film, Wong Kar-Wai
shows us that the drama comes from something far more personal
to his characters
has established, from the beginning of the film, that this film
mirror of a certain
noir-ish life. He has established the style of rapid editing, which
mirrors the tempo of the city's heart; he has created wide-angle
fish-eye camerawork which moves in a near-nauseating frenetic pace.
There are powerful closeups of the characters, practically shoving
their noses into the camera lens. The music, the sound, the cutaways
of city life (often with moving clouds in an unreal sped-up time)
all further the mood of the film. In this scene, as Chi-Ming calmly
(as always) carries out his last job, all of these factors come
into play. It's a powerful melding of style and story.
will also take a look at the opening section of Krystof Kieslowski's BLUE,
the first part of his Three Colors trilogy. In this film, Juliette
Binoche plays Julie, who loses both her daughter and her husband
in a car crash. The section of the film that we will look at (or
you should check out yourself) comes at the very start of the film,
in the moments leading up to the crash and her reactions to it.
Important elements to check out include Kieslowski's
use of sound and the juxtaposition of images. We never see Julie
at all it is important for us to see her reaction to the news of
her child's death. We see bits and pieces and hear the odd line from
her, but her character's presentation is disjointed and surreal.
The film's style meshes well with its intent -- to examine the meaning
of liberty/liberation (the first of the three elements of the French
patriotic slogan -- "Liberte, Egalite. Fraternite" and
the three colors of the Grench flag -- hence, the title of the trilogy).
Julie will, throughout the film, attempt to avoid her past. Within
the context of the film, she is looking for liberation from her old
memories, a liberation that takes on a different meaning by the end
of the film -- in fact, by the end of the trilogy.
Examine how the disjointedness of the opening both
contributes to the sense that something extreme is going to happen,
as well as to the overall quiet and severe style of the film. These
editorial concepts, along with the production design of the film
(blues, blues, blues) helps to contribute to the sense that would
probably be in Kieslowski's analysis.
other film that we may look at (perhaps, instead of one of the films
above) is Tom
LOLA RUN. This film,
which has been described as a web site on film (in terms of its alternate
paths) sets itself up to tell its rather straightforward story --
Lola tries to save her boyfriend Manni, who has lost a
large sum of money and is going to be killed if he doesn't get it
way. As you look at the scene, look at how characters are introduced
and featured -- many of them (even ones in small roles in this scene)
will return later in the film as we examine two alternate paths that
Lola might have taken in order to save her boyfriend, Manni.
Other films which develop a strong sense of editorial
style in their storytelling include Mike Figgis' TIMECODE and Steven
Soderbergh's OUT OF SIGHT, which we will not look at tonight. However,
I have used the latter film in previous years. To see a discussion
of that film click
- CRIMSON TIDE Script
- This is a duplicate link to the same 17 page PDF file script pages
that you received last week. It contains all of the scenes that you
will be cutting as well as scenes that come before Scene 80 and after
Scene 113. It also includes the interstitial scenes that you will not
be cutting. Note that this is a early version of the script, so it varies
from the footage that you have, which was rewritten during production.
- Suzanne Hines talks about editing
PSYCHO BEACH PARTY
- Hines talks about the process of editing this low budget film.
For Next Week
TIDE - Scene 81
- This week you will continuing editing your final project -- the editing
of scenes from the movie CRIMSON TIDE. This is a continuation of last
week's scene, though there is nothing to prevent you from inserting
a "SCENE MISSING" leader in between the two while you are
waiting for some of the interstitial or insert shots that you will be
receiving soon, You should first make a copy of Scene 80 and then begin
attaching this new scene onto the end of the copy. Call this new cut
something like "Scene 80-81" to differentiate it from last
week's cut. Note that, at least in the scenes that we will be cutting,
this is the first scene between Hunter and Bear (Denzel Washington and
Gene Hackman) and contains the beginning of the arc between the two
of them that will end up with their confrontation in Scene 113. Take
this into consideration when you think about how to weigh this scene.
- Recut Scene 80 from CRIMSON TIDE
- I will have given you notes on this scene. However, I would also like
you to recut this scene after you've cut Scene 81 and attached it onto
this (remember to make a copy of Scene 80 before you hook it onto Scene
81 so you don't change your old version of it). This will force you
to rethink some of Scene 80.
(will open in a new window; simply close that window
to return here)
Lola Run and the Web [PDF file]
- This essay takes the stand that the various timelines in RUN LOLA
RUN, are analagous to web page links, and that the structure of the
film is possible because of the explosion of the web.
Fellowship Run Lola Run Discussion Guide
- This guide, done from a Christian fellowship perspective, looks at
this film from the point of view of some of the filmmaking and sociological
questions raised by the film.
- Run, Lola, Run Term Paper
- This very short analysis talks about the film in terms of mise-en-scene
and time binding.