Crash: Editing and Comprehension
Paul Haggis’s Crash was released in 2004; it dissects the theme of racism and how individuals of different ethnicities can all intertwine in a society. Characters of various race are introduced at a rapid pace to viewers quite early in the film. It is not until later that the connections and social tensions between the characters are successfully revealed. The continuity of the editing is a key component to connecting the plot, and allowing it to advance in a cohesive manner. Editing makes or breaks the outcome of a film. In this sequence, cutting is used to deepen one’s comprehension of the picture by portraying the relationships between the characters, being involved in their emotions, in addition to becoming fully cognizant of the symbolic images that influence the scene. In the “I would like the locks changed” scene, the most intriguing clip is when Jean and Rick are arguing. More specifically, at time 0.36s, the viewers see how the continuity of the cutting allows the focus to be on Rick and Jean’s relationship. It is important to note that continuity is designed to smooth over the confusing discontinuity of the editing process; it is used to establish a logical coherence from shot-to-shot. While Jean and Rick—the typical “rich, white couple’—calmly argue, the continuity is kept simple to allow the main focus to be on the their dilemma. From thirty-six seconds to one minute, a zoom shot is used to build the intensity and capture the severity of this argument. One could infer that the importance of the quarrel between Rick and Jean will become worse due to the continuity of the zoom shot; the viewers originally see the couple’s whole body—to gradually zooming—suggesting that the argument will worsen. This entire time period is a single cut; therefore, isolating the graduating kafuffle-- along with the complexities and precariousness of their relationship—from the entirety of this sequence. Moreover, this specific cut is...
Cited: Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis. Perf. Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock. Lion’s Gate Films,
W. Norton & Company, 2011. Print.
Richard Barsam and Dave Monohan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. W.
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