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Cutting Rhythms by Karen Pearlman

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CHAPTER 7

Emotional Rhythm

This chapter is about shaping emotional arcs. It will look at the variations on the use of a choreographic approach when the priority is not the visible movement values themselves, but the emotions that the movements express.

Emotional tension and release are shaped by the timing, pacing, and trajectory phrasing of emotional energy. Practically speaking, this means that performance guides the cutting. For editors, “performance guides the cutting” is a much-used and well-favored axiom and offers a very useful starting place for considering the principles involved in the crafting of emotional rhythms. Being guided by performance means focusing attention on the intentional movements made by actors and, in documentary, ...

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