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Beyond The Cut: The Future of Movies and Neuroscie

May 15, 2014, 10:04 AM

In 1903, a 10-minute silent film by director Edwin Porter revolutionized filmmaking. The Great Train Robbery was the first film to employ cross cutting to create narrative. In the movie, a train is shot moving left to right in one frame. In a second shot, the bandits are shown riding their horses from right to left. When these shots are placed one after the other, the bandits appear to be riding toward the train. “These cuts create narrative,” explains Sergei Gepshtein, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who has become interested in how audiences experience cinema. “When ordered in a specific way, you get a sense of continuity.”

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