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Old 08-08-2016, 08:07 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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A movie example: The jump cuts in Godard's Breathless.

Here's an article listing five proposed explanations for Godard's use of jump cuts:

1 (stupid): Godard had shot too much footage, and a producer insisted that movie should be shortened. In order to piss the producer off and deliberately ruin the movie, Godard cut out parts at random.

2 (stupid): Godard had made a movie that he knew was nothing special, but he wanted to fool the pretentious French movie critics into thinking it was brilliant. He cut out parts at random hoping it would astound the stupid critics.

3 (supporting stupid or clever, depending on point of view): According to Godard's own account, he agreed that the film needed shortening. He had made a movie two and a half hours long, but had been contracted to not exceed 90 minutes. He had made it too long at first because he was inexperienced and wanted to put "everything" into his first film. He invented the jump cut style to reduce the running time, sometimes cutting parts at random, but it was (at least presumably) to improve the film, as opposed to ruining it.

4 (clever): The jump cuts are meaningful in a storytelling sense, in that they reflect the disjointedness in the personality of the main character.

5 (clever): The jump cuts are meaningful on the level of the medium itself. They are part of a new cinematic aesthetic, introducing into cinema elements from other arts such as cubism or jazz.

Which side am I on? Well, I think the movie is gorgeous, and it certainly seems appropriate to me to say that it has a "jazzy" aesthetic. Maybe I don't have a clue, though. But, FWIW, a friend of mine with proven great taste is on record as loving it, so I think I'll trust her judgement.