House made of dawn

Pages: 3 (698 mots) Publié le: 18 février 2011
01/27/2011 ENGL 3363 - FILMS AND CONTEXT

House Made of Dawn, Richardson Morse (1976)

How the editing of House Made of Dawn illustrates the very topic of the movie, which isthe idea of being caught between two worlds.

House Made of Dawn is a movie that tells the story of Abel, a Native American who has been brought to the White world but who still feels attracted byhis Native past. The editing of the film itself manages to convey this well known image of an Indian trapped between two worlds.

First, a series of jump-cuts sets the tone of the story that isgoing to take place in an indefinable space between the past, the present and the future. The flashbacks are most of the time moments of Abel's childhood with his grandfather, whereas the latter dies atthe very beginning of the movie. These disruptive shots are emphasized by a flute's tune that becomes suddenly high-pitched and drowns out any eventual dialogues. The jump-cuts are so numerous andunexpected that the confusion between the different times and the different worlds that Abel experiences is conveyed to the viewer as well. Along with these flashbacks, a recurrent flash-forward shotshows Abel running in slow motion in the middle of nature. He is half-naked and barefoot, and the pair of jeans that he is only wearing illustrates his belonging to both the Indian and the Americanworlds. This shot strongly contrasts with the rhythm of Los Angeles' city by night and its noises, such as the cars' horns, and the natural and peaceful sunny landscape that looks like the stereotypicalIndian plain.

As opposed to sudden jump-cuts, the director of House Made of Dawn, Richardson Morse, also uses the process of superimposition to illustrate the story of a man trapped between twoworlds. The recurrent shot of Abel running in the plain appears very often in a ripple-dissolve technique, thus enabling the future and the present to take place simultaneously on the screen, which is...
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