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Intensified Continuity Visual Style in Contemporary American Film

David Bordwell
Film Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Spring 2002), pp. 16-28
DOI: 10.1525/fq.2002.55.3.16
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/fq.2002.55.3.16
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Intensified Continuity Visual Style in Contemporary American Film
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Abstract

Do today's movies, filled with dazzling spectacle and often less-than-dazzling plotting and characterization, constitute a break with Hollywood's past? This essay argues that recent films rely upon many principles of traditional "continuity filming," but that there are nonetheless some important changes. In particular, certain techniques, such as fast cutting and free-ranging camera movement, have become more forceful and flamboyant. These techniques have blended into an approach to visual storytelling which we can call "intensified continuity." By analyzing films and reflecting upon comments gleaned from filmmaking professionals, the essay suggests where the new style comes from and how it affects viewers.

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