In The Blink Of An Eye Analysis

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“Ida” is a disorienting visual experience, to put it lightly. Pawlikowski must have chosen a 1.33 frame, or at least something similar. Just look at the screen: the composition is abnormal, the background occupies the major part, and only a small portion is allocated to the characters. The audience sees forest after forest and gets very little sense of human presence. The camerawork is also weird—as if the lens had been kept fixed, and the characters had to follow the camera to get in audience’s sight. That feeling of intentional uncertainty, the same brilliance and eccentricity are found in Walter Murch’s “In the Blink of an Eye”, the book that changed my entire perception of cinema in one fell swoop.
At first, I was simply a passive viewer,
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Rather an impulsive girl, I used to give a running commentary of a movie without understanding it. I, for example, would judge an actor’s performance, though I did not have any idea what constituted good acting. Then, I encountered Murch’s perspective on acting—one of the most crucial elements of films: “a good actor would blink very close to the point where the editor decided to cut”. Just like that, Murch’s way of perceiving a movie and its elements has shaped my judgments and introduced me to art films, a movie genre that was unfamiliar to me. A bit ashamed of my ignorance, yet excited to be enlightened, I quickly adopted his insight: “Each movie has its own language, its unique color.” Soon, I dropped the habit of giving arbitrary commentary and started to let myself truly fall into the grip of a great film before attempting to evaluate it. I started to see, as though for the first time, the unique colors of every film: the reds and blacks of Wong Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love”, the blues and grays of Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, the grim yellows of Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash”. Finally I understand why Zhang Yi Mou has past events in color and present events in black-and-white in “The Road Home”: as a subtle signal to the audience that past happenings will be the focus of his movie. Art imitates life: it’s the little things, and God is in the …show more content…
As a personal confession, I must admit I have always found it hard to learn new concepts, especially foreign, technical terminologies. Post-“In the Blink of an Eye”, my fear of understanding abstract concepts disappeared. Known as a “constant, warm, and reassuring” person, Murch has structured “In the Blink of an Eye” faithfully, following the genuine steps of film editing, and constructed it with symbolic techniques so that readers can get a sense of what editing is. Explaining the effectiveness of stand-up editing, Murch regards it as “a crystalized dance”, and further develops his idea through a provocative question: “When have you ever seen a dancer sitting down to dance?” Like an oddly caring salesman, Murch slowly shows me the ropes, complete with a rundown of the ups and downs. He clearly distinguishes between the linear and non-linear systems, using a block of marble and clay as comparisons respectively. Now, I can name various systems used to make a movie confidently. If you want to work in a sculptural dimension (the movie is finished and your job is to remove extraneous pieces), pick KEM—a linear system. If you want to be original from the start, choose Moviola, for with this method, the editor only has access to separate cuts and must put them together independently of the director. A collection of visual materials that Murch packs in the book to elaborate on abstract concepts has taught me the tight relationship between the technological, or in

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