The Ides of March (Screening Essay)

The Ides of March (George Clooney, 2011) is a film with editing that primarily focuses on narrative. There is particular attention to continuity, and little to no use of montage style editing. There are many long takes without rhythm, but rather allow the meaning of the shot to be created within the shot as opposed to meaning created from the juxtaposition of shots. The editing within this film is not stylistic in any sense, as its cinematography and lighting exhibit’s a largely stylistic quality. This technique in editing was employed so that the audience could better understand the characters which were presented. For example, there are long takes of Steven, played by Ryan Gosling, walking in and out of shadows within numerous shots to represent his changing feelings towards his profession. There are also numerous point of view shots which communicate to the audience how these politicians view one another. For example, there is a long shot from Steven’s point of view where he views Mike, played by George Clooney, through shelves in a kitchen, there is also a striking  point of view shot where Mike searches for Steven through an audience. From this example, one can gather also that the edits within this film also prioritize spectacle, such as the take where Steven sits in his car after finding one of the interns has killed herself, where rain falls onto the windshield and creates shadows that seem like tears coming down Steven’s cheeks. I would say that this film is well edited in the way that the editing adequately portrayed the meaning of the film by not distracting the audience with numerous cuts and edits, but rather allowed the meaning to be communicated within the given shots. Though the editing does not exhibit a stylistic quality, this is made up for within the film’s stylistic cinematography and lighting.

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