Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: a1 on January 04, 2008, 03:17:03 AM



Title: Visual Links, Transitions & Match Cuts
Post by: a1 on January 04, 2008, 03:17:03 AM
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Title: Re: Visual Links, Transitions & Match Cuts
Post by: dave jenkins on January 04, 2008, 11:31:44 AM
Nice to see these laid out for easy inspection. Now the question arises: do these merely testify to SL's technical virtuosity, or do they also have something to do with the film's thematic concerns?


Title: Re: Visual Links, Transitions & Match Cuts
Post by: Atlas2112 on January 04, 2008, 03:19:49 PM
i feel the keys are rather thematic, in a similar way that the door motif was thematic


Title: Re: Visual Links, Transitions & Match Cuts
Post by: moviesceleton on January 05, 2008, 06:32:20 AM
I think the match cuts and links between the time periods make the switches much more visible than if Leone had just cut them "normally". There's always a few seconds of "Man, WTF?" before you understand that the time period has changed.


Title: Re: Visual Links, Transitions & Match Cuts
Post by: dave jenkins on January 05, 2008, 09:11:13 AM
On a recent TV program the presenter mentioned the match cut from 2001 (where an ape throws bones into the air and the movie cuts to a bone shaped space station) as being the greatest match cut in any film ever. . . 
What's pathetic about this is that it just perpetuates a misconception that's been around for 40 years. Now that Michael Powell's A Canterbury Tale is widely available on video, we all can see where Kubrick got the idea (in that earlier film, a bird flying overhead in 15th Century England is matched with a shot of a WWII Spitfire, thus eliding the 5 intervening centuries). Kubrick's application is bolder, but it loses something when compared with Powell's original.

One thing though: the 60s was the decade for match cuts. Lean had some famous ones, including the bit where Lawrence blows out a candle and we cut to an unrelenting desert sun (my favorite one, though, is in Kwai, where someone in camp looks up at the sun, we see the sun, then William Holden, who has escaped and is elsewhere, steps into the frame). Between Lean and Kubrick, the match cut really came into its own. The technique must have made an impression on Leone at the time.


Title: Re: Visual Links, Transitions & Match Cuts
Post by: dave jenkins on January 05, 2008, 08:31:49 PM
Maybe it's just as well. It's a fun device, but very difficult to bring off well. I remember one in The Hunger that was (unintentionally) very funny.