Homework #8: Jump Cuts in Godard’s “Breathless”

Film still of Patricia (Jean Seberg) in car, Jean-Luc Godard, "Breathless," 1960
Film still of Patricia (Jean Seberg) in car, Jean-Luc Godard, “Breathless,” 1960

Jean-Luc Godard’s extensive use of jump cuts in Breathless (À bout de souffle) 1960 was highly influential on the “look” of many later films. In a jump cut, two shots of the same subject differ in angle or composition, the disjuncture creates a visual “jump” on the screen. The jump cut is an example of discontinuous editing, however, the uneven transition of one shot to another is often described as an amateurish technique. Yet, Godard masterfully uses the jump cut to highlight the urban rhythm of Paris and the whirlwind pace of modern romance. Watch this clip, in which Michel (Jean Paul Belmondo) gives Patricia (Jean Seberg) a ride across town to her appointment. Note the number of jump cuts in the car sequence, in particular, the change in backdrop that frames Patricia’s head.

For this week’s homework, please search for the use of jump cuts in a later film. You can watch clips of a movie you like to see whether  jump cuts are used, or simply “google” jump cuts. Post a link to the film you’ve found and describe the impact of the jump cuts in that film clip.

Watch the car sequence in Breathless here.

To complete this homework assignment, note whether you Post or CommentFor Homework #8, Diamonds and Spades Post and Clubs and Hearts Comment (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).

Due December 1st (after Thanksgiving!) 

Blog post 8

I searched online for some films that included some examples of jump cuts, unsurprisingly, I found numerous links to the movie “Breathless,” and some I’ve never heard of. However I found a link to a scene in the movie of “The Royal Tenenbaums” which I really liked for the reason being it didn’t contain dialogue, but you could merely appreciate the physical aspect of it. (I didn’t notice that another student posted the same movie until I was done with my post.) Being that I hadn’t watched it before, I initially thought that this scene was merely depicting someone giving himself a makeover, albeit it truly depicts not only a physical transformation, but a mental transformation. The use of the jump cut in this scene firstly allows the viewer to focus on the time aspect of the scene, the scene is not supposed to be five minutes, but it gives the viewer an impression that the scene lasts for longer than is showed. Secondly, by giving you shots of the film back to back, you can see that Richie Tenenbaum goes through multiple different looks and attitudes before he finally decides to commit suicide. When he does slit his wrists, and one of the kids discover him lying on the floor, there is another jump cut to him on a bed with nurses rushing him down a hall, building. This last cut builds suspense for the the next scene.

Homework #8

Breathless has the best jump cuts that a movie will ever have they really raised the bar. Nowadays it’s very hard to catch a “jump cut”. I once criticize jump cuts heavily in youtube videos, until I entered a blog competition on youtube. It’s very hard to not have a jump cut in most youtube blog videos and it’s more then confidence thing. Anybody can be filmed and everything goes okay because you can have a script and understand the character, you are suppose to be but when you have to act natural it’s tougher then it looks. There’s a lot of jump cuts in music videos. I really enjoyed this scene in The Royal Tenenbaums it has a cool jump cut scene at 0:15

Homework #7

Fan dissecting films are very interesting. I liked how he showed each location with split screen. The top showed how it looked in the actual movie, and the bottom showed what the locations look like in the present. Even though fan dissecting is interesting, I’m not really a big fan of them. They’re cool, but I rather see the actual movie. At the special features section in DVDs sometimes I’m interesting in seeing certain things, but a fan dissecting is not one of them. An example, is a director narrating or how certain great scenes are made. For the Bourne Ultimatum I saw how one of the fight scenes  were made and that was very entertaining.

hw #8

Jump-cuts in a film is defined as  an unexpected change that generally follows a sequence in a clip,  that happens to make  a person or thing jump from one state or condition to another, without breaking it’s focus. A film that I choose to talk about will be A Space Odyssey;1968. In this short clip you will see a perfect example of jump-cut ; looking from the 33 seconds to the last 45 seconds you’ll see how film jumps back and forth without breaking focus. This part of the clip you’ll see a ship going into space and the globe disappear for a short moment but it comes right back as the ship comes back. You begin to see the sequential jump from one place to another.  With the link I provide below you’ll be able to see an example of jump-cut.

Homework #7

I find “fan” movies like Attia’s, that deconstruct films and revisit locations, interesting.  I say interesting because these movies dissect films and give other fans of the movie a different perspective of the film and where it was made. I’m the kind of person who watches all the “bonus features” on the DVD menu when I see a movie at home. So I enjoy learning the ins and outs to how a film was created and put together. I have been on a tour where they show the locations scenes from my favorite show were filmed. So fan movies interest me, especially when its a fan’s take on a film I’ve already enjoyed.

Homework #7: Filming Locations-Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’

School house in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" 1963
School house in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” 1963

In Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963), a beautiful socialite Melanie Daniels (played by Tippi Hedren in her first film role) takes a trip from San Francisco to Bodega Bay in pursuit of Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor). Although Hitchcock preferred to film on a studio set, there are numerous location shots that highlight his love for San Francisco and the surrounding area. As a hobby, the California architect Hervé Attia produced a film short that revisits many of Hitchcock’s locations for The Birds. Watch Attia’s short film and a clip of the attack on the children scene. What do you think of “fan” movies like Attia’s that deconstruct films and revisit locations?

Watch Attia’s film location video here.

Watch the attack on the children sequence here.

Homework #7 is DUE by Tuesday November 17.
 Clubs and Hearts s Post, Diamonds and Spade Comment, note your blog group! Please email me if you forget which group you belong in.

Flashback in film: 500 Days of Summer

This movie is the perfect example of flashbacks in film. The movie develops by Tom talking about his time with summer and the storyline of the movie is him talking about the moments they cherished together. The movie develops in a straight line only adding the flashbacks to explain something that is happening. This is the kind of movie one can never get enough off.