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Putting the Cart behind the Horse

Le Cheval emballé (The Runaway Horse)

Louis J. Gasnier, Pathé-Frères, France, 1908

Excerpted here is a sequence toward the end of the film in which three shots are joined by two matching (or continuity) cuts—cuts that emphasize unobtrusive transitions while condensing time and space. The shot on the left shows the horse, his rampage coming to an end when he returns home to his stable, moving from right to left as he enters the exterior stable door. In the shot in the center, the same action is continued, with the horse, still proceeding from right to left, passing into the interior door of his stall. In the reverse-angle shot on the right, which is taken from 90º to 180º from the opposite side of the same subject, the horse (now moving left to right) enters the stall. For a more detailed description of Le Cheval emballé, see Figure 9.8.

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