FIGURE 9.2

Man Calls Dog

Médor au téléphone

Pathé-Frères, France, 1907

Having realized that he has inadvertently left his dog at home, a man at a sidewalk café calls up the dog to let him know where he is. The gag, however, does not serve to cap off the comedy, but rather pops up in the middle, when a cut from the man on the phone reveals his dog on the other end. In addition, the gag is extended by a structuring principle more commonly found in straightforward narrative vehicles: to suggest how easily man and dog communicate—and how much the dog is capable of comprehending—the sequence uses parallel editing to add four more exchanges between the medium shot of the man and the medium shot of the dog. Finally, the film borrows a page from Rescued by Rover (see Chapter 5.2) by employing several loosely matched cuts to follow the dog along the city streets that he must take to the café.

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