Cinematic tradition suggests that Hollywood films, like plays, are divided into acts. Thompson (1999) streamlined the conception of this largescale film structure by suggesting that most films are composed of four acts of generally equal length—the setup, the complicating action, the development, and the climax (often including an epilog). These acts are based on the structure of the narrative, and would not necessarily have a physical manifestation in shots and transitions. Nonetheless, exploring a sample of 150 Hollywood style films from 1935 to 2005, this article demonstrates that acts shape shot lengths and transitions. Dividing films into quarters, we found that shots are longer at quarter boundaries and generally shorter near the middle of each quarter. Moreover, aside from the beginnings and ends of films, the article shows that fades, dissolves, and other non-cut transitions are more common in the third and less common in the fourth quarters of films.
James E. Cutting, Kaitlin L. Brunick, and Jordan E. Delong
Gal Raz, Giancarlo Valente, Michele Svanera, Sergio Benini, and András Bálint Kovács
tactile sensations in the beholder. Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945), a Swiss art historian, agreed with Riegl that different “shot-scales” exist in painting and that they represent different perceptual modes, but he attributed slightly different
James E. Cutting, Catalina Iricinschi, and Kaitlin L. Brunick
This article presents a new method to create maps that chart changes across a cinematic narrative. These are unlike narrative spaces previously discussed in the literature—they are abstract, holistic, dynamic representations based on objective criteria. The analysis considers three films (All About Eve, Inception, and MASH) by counting the co-occurrences of main characters within scenes, and 12 Angry Men by counting their co-occurrences within shots. The technique used combines the statistical methods of correlation, multidimensional scaling, and Procrustes analysis. It then plots the trajectories of characters across these spaces in All About Eve and Inception, regions for characters in Inception and MASH, and compares the physical arrangement of jurors with their dramatic roles in 12 Angry Men. These maps depict the changing structures in the visual narrative. Finally, through consideration of statistical learning, the article explores the plausibility that these maps mimic relations in the minds of film viewers.
James K. Beggan
External ejaculation—the cum shot—can evoke strong reactions. Gail Dines (2010: xxvi) described external ejaculation on the face or body of a woman as “one of the most degrading acts in porn” that “marks the woman as used goods … owned by the
James E. Cutting and Ayse Candan
This article investigates historical trends of mean shot durations in 9,400 English-language and 1,550 non-English-language movies released between 1912 and 2013. For the sound-era movies of both sets there is little evidence indicating anything other than a linear decline plotted on a logarithmic scale, with the English-language set providing stronger results. In a subsample of 24 English-language movies from 1940 to 2010 the decline in shot duration is uniform across 15 shot classes, a result that supports a broad “evolutionary” account of film change. The article also explores the proportions of these shot classes across years and genres, with the results showing that 25 percent of the decline in shot duration is due to a shift away from shot classes with longer-than-average shot durations towards those with shorter-than-average durations, and 8 percent of the decline is due to the increased use of shot scales in which characters appear larger.
James E. Cutting, Kaitlin L. Brunick, and Jordan DeLong
This is an amendment to the article "How Act Structure Sculpts Shot Lengths and Shot Transitions in Hollywood Film" by the same authors published in Projections 5(1), summer 2011.
András Bálint Kovács
According to directors and directors of photography choosing the appropriate shot scale for a scene is primarily an issue of narrative function. However, especially in the practice of art cinema preference of specific shot scales may be an important indicator of a particular style. In some cases statistical analysis of overall shot scale distribution in films reveals consistent and recurrent patterns of shot scale distribution in an author's work. Such a consistency is surprising, because it cannot be the result of conscious decision. No filmmaker plans the proportion of each shot scale in a film. This article investigates a systematic variation of shot scale distribution (SSD) patterns disclosed in the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, and Ingmar Bergman, which raises a number of questions regarding the possible aesthetic and cognitive sources of such a regularity.
Sermin Ildirar and Louise Ewing
Russian actor Ivan Mozhukhin’s neutral, expressionless face with various other camera shots, including a bowl of soup, a woman in a coffin, and a child playing with a toy bear. He observed that these additional shots interacted with the original, leading
A Style Analysis
visual details. As CinemaScope appeared to encourage filmmakers to focus on what was happening within the shot, many argued that it offered spectators more freedom to look around. It thereby seemed to oppose the instructiveness of the close
A Cinematic Case Study
James E. Cutting and Karen Pearlman
about how the temporal fluctuations of shot structure, motion, luminance, clutter, sound, and other dimensions are distributed in those movies. He has also investigated how those patterns have changed, or not, over the last century ( Cutting 2016a