Why Don’t Film Cuts Freak Us Out?

Unnatural approximations of real life are standard filmmaking.
By  · Published on September 28th, 2017

Unnatural approximations of real life are standard filmmaking.

A cut is the most simple technique in film. Jumping in time, location, reality – it makes film what it is and it makes trendy releases shot in one take the gimmicks that they are. In fact, cuts are so essential to the medium that they’re often neglected. Most audiences don’t even register them and, though most critics assess their meaning and use, the cuts themselves remain a sorely under-examined facet of modern filmmaking.

If film is to interpret life, evoke life, or imitate life, how do we reconcile this device that seems incongruous with the natural laws of physics? Time and space don’t work like this. So why isn’t editing weirder to us?

Adam D’Arpino’s historicizing video essay about the nature of cuts and continuity is great for film students, psychology students, and casual fans that have ingested millions of film cuts over their media-consuming lifespan.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).