To summarize. Modern film drama audiences are accustomed to watching a succession of ‘action-driven’ visual images accompanied by a relatively undemanding level of spoken dialogue. Such audiences ‘read’ a film largely by following the visual imagery of actors supplying the dramatic input we are looking to experience from the screen; we gain this experience from their showing us what they are thinking or feeling, rather than by using the kinds of dense verbal imagery so plentifully supplied in the texts of Shakespeare’s plays. In order for a film audience to follow a screen narrative primarily transmitted through successive visual images, these images — camera shots, in effect — must be made to flow coherently and connectedly. The process of creating a seamless flow of images an audience can follow without effort involves skilful continuity editing. The principles of such editing have always dominated mainstream cinema around the world, but from the 1960s onwards the pace of cutting (editing) from shot to shot became more rapid. Fast-paced TV commercials and French New Wave cinema seem to have influenced this change, and certainly since computer-based editing made the fast-cutting of shots even easier, this style has come to govern filmmaking, not only for action films, but also in dramas, comedies — and many Shakespeare adaptations.
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