Jump Cuts

Most mainstream (read: Hollywood) films made use of continuity editing, only breaking the illusion of reality when a certain effect was desired, though whole movements of avant-garde and art cinema far too numerous to go into here experimented with new and exciting techniques in film production. But it wasn’t until 1960, with the release of Jean-Luc Godard’s first film, Breathless (or, À bout de Souffle, “out of breath”) came out and shocked audiences, that the jump cut as we know it today would enter the popular film vernacular.


The reasoning behind these cuts has long been the subject of debate, with many stories circulated. The director himself has said that they were the result of economic necessity, because the film he had made was roughly two and a half hours long and the film he had been contracted to make was 90 minutes:


“I remember very clearly — how I invented this famous way of cutting, that is now used in commercials: we took all the shots and systematically cut out whatever could be cut, while trying to maintain some rhythm.”

Jean Luc Goddard

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