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Cutting Rhythms by Karen Pearlman

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CHAPTER 4

Tension, Release, and Synchronization

All of the tools, the choreographic processes, and the editor's sources of intuitive knowledge about editing a film's rhythm are used by editors in service of fulfilling rhythm's purposes in film. The question in this chapter is: What are the functions of rhythm in film? The following discussion suggests that the functions of rhythm are to create cycles of tension and release and to synchronize the spectator's physical, emotional, and cognitive fluctuations with the rhythms of the film.

TENSION AND RELEASE

One function of rhythm in film is to shape, modulate, stimulate, and elevate the movement between tension and release. This movement is particularly crucial to drama, as John Sayles, ...

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