Holding onto Moments in The Age of Innocence
in Film Studies
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This article offers an alternative to the predominant and pervasive theoretical approaches to discussing time in film. It adheres to ordinary language, and moves away from a ‘mapping’ of theoretical models or contextual analysis to concentrate on a films specifics. It considers the particular handling of time in a particular film: The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993). Fixing on specific points of style, the article examines the interplay of time and gesture, and the editing techniques of ellipses and dissolves. Both the article and the film hold their attention on the intricacy and intimacy afforded by moments, as they pass. Both explore how the intensity of a lovers relationship over decades is expressed in fleeting passages of shared time. In doing so, the article advances a vocabulary of criticism to match the rhetoric of the film, to appreciate the works handling of time. Detailed consideration of this achievement allows for a greater understanding of the designs and possibilities of time in cinema.

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