Skip to main content

Eric Palau


This paper I will research the cinematic device's modes that express time in cinema, focussing in the use of ellipsis in film narrative. My intention is to apply that knowledge to the writing process of my feature film Blink, which tells the story of a woman who has the power of skipping time.

We have come a long way since Louis Lumière said “Le cinéma estune invention sans avenir—Cinema is an invention without a future” at the premiere of their film Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895). In those times, the meaning of cinema was linked to its capacity to represent a pure record of time, which is “particularly legible in the most dominant genre of the early cinema -the actuality, which appeared to capture a moment, to register and repeat that which happens-” (Doane, 2002, p. 22).

As expressed by Walter Murch in his book In the Blink of an Eye, the discovery that certain types of cutting “worked”, lead to the discovery of discontinuity in cinema, which he compares with the discovery of flight: “in a practical sense, films were no longer “earthbound” in time and space” (Murch, 2005, p.7).

By analysing different film techniques in the context of their capacity to play with time (voice over, match cut, long take, jump cut, montage, split cut), I will get a deeper understanding of their potential use during the writing process of my feature script Blink.

The expected outcome of this paper is to find a new approach to the writing process based on the impact my research has on my knowledge of film narrative. As Tarkovsky states in his book Sculpting in Time, “One cannot conceive of a cinematic work with no sense of time passing through the shot, but one can easily imagine a film with no actors, music, decor or even editing” (Tarkovsky, 2017, p.113).