Thursday, 24 September 2009

St Andrews and Sergio Leone

I have finally arrived in St Andrews and my three year spell on Scottish soil will commence! Now I will start to blog regularly again, and let me begin with airing my despair over all the nonsense which is so often presented as film historic fact. The examples are all too many, but the latest I've encountered is that Sergio Leone was the first director to challenge the Hollywood convention of never showing the killer and the person killed in the same shot. If for example a man with a gun would shoot a man to death, you would, according to this theory, first see the killer fire the gun, and then there would be a cut after which you would see the other person falling to do ground. But Leone broke this rule and for the first time showed the killer and the victim in the same shot, without a cut breaking up the action.

It's not 100% clear what the purpose of this convention would be, but what is 100% clear is that I've seen endless examples of Hollywood films, made before Leone began, where the killer and the victim are seen in the same shot, without any cuts. So there was hardly such a convention, and consequently Leone did not break any rules (at least not that rule).

1 comment:

  1. Part of my project here at St. Andrews involves investigating, and hopefully setting right, some misconceptions that travel freely in film circles. It is strange when you see people abusing an idea that is so clearly not the case to you!

    Anyway, I just found your blog here - as far as I know we're the only two PhDs at St. Andrews with a film blog, and you are by FAR a more prolific blogger than I (I haven't blogged since I've been in St. Andrews)!