Continuity graffiti

 [from Corbucci's Compañeros, 1970]

Double match cut : on action (with two seconds removed, in the way that match cuts function not just to stitch together a dangerously proximate world, but also to shave crucial seconds of passage through zones of alleged non-interest) and on graffito.

As far as I know, there has yet to exist a film that fully enacted the latter - not just graffiti, but single visual or sonic elements from one shot to another than does not remain the same element for the whole film, other than continuous music/narration or following single characters  - as a principle of continuity editing across its entire length.  There are brief spells.  Hammer's Frankenstein series makes it a nervously recurrent tendency.  Or, one of its better applications, infinitely better and stranger than the infamous match on pupil --> shower drain in Psycho that launched a thousand theses on the gaze and violence, in Black Sunday where we match from a dead witch's empty eye sockets in which eyes push out toward us onto a reverse tracking shot from the dark cavity of a French horn from which a goofy, tooting sound pushes toward us and pushes us away into a raucous tavern.  (Black Sunday is, like Psycho, from 1960:  Bava may have adored Hitchcock and sparked off of his films, but here the spark is a gorgeous joke that takes the wind out of the master's sails, a flawless piss take that could not - for reasons of simultaneity - have seen the material off which it riffs.)

But those are brief spells, split instances that point out all the more how much continuity comes to mean of action (that is, across a thinkable unity of time) or of location (that is, across a relatively consistent unity of space: see here the sitcom, which ramps this up toward unfathomable stretches of time, all joined not by the continuity of gags and catch phrases, but the same camera positions in front of the same sets, the same carefully placed "random stuff on the coffee table").

To do it otherwise would mean a form of both immense focus and of committed distraction, keeping up the thread across instances while routing that thread not just through the same element but through a wandering eye and ear.

That is:

a man talking on the phone


a phone being made in a factory, on a molding press with the word SYSTEMS visble


a textbook on systems theory on a desk with visible wood grain


that same wood grain from an identical mass produced desk in another country, on which a hand is busy writing, in scratching pencil, A man talking on the phone


A rabbit is scratching at the wall of its hutch.  Such a wall may or may not be wood.

[Should one desire to get all Oulipian, as one does, delineate a set of six allowable "connections": visible words, sonic element, pattern/texture, gesture, object, and location.  Roll the dice. Such dictates the form of matching to follow.  One should aim to still, against this, develop something that takes on a thinkable shape across it.  Because a throw of the dice will never abolish chance, sure, but it may sketch a picture of those relations - the simultaneity of shit luck and absolute accordance, that is: the very feeling of history - that always seem to escape our attempts to nip and tuck them together under the sign of something that resembles a very good film.]

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