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Analytical essay in which you will comment on the use of editing techniques in Alexander Payne’s film Sideways (2004)

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Choose one of the two clips from Alexander Payne’s film Sideways (2004) posted on Blackboard. Write a short analytical essay in which you will comment on the use of editing techniques in putting together the scenes, explaining how the techniques work in making the scenes clear and how they add dramatic meaning.
Sideways concerns two middle-aged men, best friends from college: Miles (Paul Giamatti), an eight-grade English teacher and aspiring writer, prone to depression, and a wine connoisseur, and Jack (Thomas Hayden-Church), an actor past his prime, with a very carefree outlook on life. Jack is getting married, and Miles takes him for a week-long tour of California wine country before his wedding. Miles wants Jack to have a good, time, but Jack has his own carnal agenda. While having dinner, they meet Maya (Virginia Madsen), an acquaintance of Miles’, with which they have an after-hours conversation.
In writing your essay, follow the following instructions:
• Describe the actions in the clip, what is going on between the characters. From the brief synopsis, try to figure out the dramatic message the clip is expressing.
• Describe the editing techniques used in joining the shots in each of the scenes in the clip: shot-reverse shot, eye line match, match on action, montage, long take, sequence-shot. As you point out the technique, analyze the dramatic motivation of it: how does it make the scene expressive? Would you have chosen another technique, and why?
• Describe the transition techniques used between the scenes: straight cut, lap dissolve, wipe. Are the transitions well used?
• Point out the moments when the 180° line is broken (it happens in two scenes, which you will identify on your own), and explain the line violation effect, if any; does the scene suffer from the breaking of the line, or is it not a problem?

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