The Movie ‘Crash’ Sequence Analysis
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 compelling and creates flow to viewers as the viewers see the relationship between this, “rich, white”, couple—thanks to the careful decisions generated in the editing room.As tension begins to amplify between Rick and Jean, the cuts alter—affecting the mood of the sequence.
The cuts become short and quick as the anxiety between the couple escalates. From one minute and fourteen seconds to one minute and fifty-three seconds, sixteen different cuts are made. These types of shots are called shot/reverse shots. The continuity of this editing allows the viewers to focus on two different characters in conversation. This type of cutting is significant to the sequence because it shows the audience the emotions of both characters: it displays Jeans frustration with Rick, and how Rick believes Jean to be over-reacting.
Crosscutting is also used throughout this portion of the scene. Thus, the shot/reverse shots allow the continuity of the editing to be successful in involving the viewers in Jean and Rick’s emotions. 1 Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis.
Perf. Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock. Lion’s Gate Films, 2004. Film. During the entirety of this portion of the sequence, one might notice to the naked abstract painting behind Jean.
This is a crucial symbol in this sequence. It can suggest a representation of Jeans role and how she is baring her soul to her husband.The lack of a face on this painting should also be taken into consideration; perhaps this connotes the idea that Jean does not have a voice in this matter. . It is not until two minutes into the sequence that Jean totally bears her soul; 1 “Now I am telling you, your amigos in there is gonna sell his key to one of his homies, and this time it’d be really fucking great if you actually gave a shit! ” No matter how hard she stresses her wants, her husband still seems to patronize her.The cuts and shots do a superb job at not bearing the full view of the painting throughout Jean and Rick’s disagreement.
Subsequently, Jean walks away and the scene cuts to Rick and the viewers now see the painting in full view. The editing and cuts strongly contribute to the affect of this scene. Alas, cutting is used to amplify one’s understanding of the picture. The cutting clearly displays how the plot intertwines social tensions; as the characters gain wisdom and insight, they become better individuals.The cuts make the film. While this sequence begins to unravel, the viewers are dragged into the relationships of the characters, their emotions, as well as the symbolic elements caught on film—all through the detail-oriented cuts, and the succession of the continuity of editing.
Work Cited Crash. Dir. Paul Haggis. Perf. Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock.
Lion’s Gate Films, Film. W. Norton ; Company, 2011. Print. Richard Barsam and Dave Monohan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film.