Modern Times

Between Shots College

In Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, many elements of film are expertly used to best convey the message of the story. One of these elements, editing, is exploited by the use of its many advantageous techniques in order to create ties to the essential themes of Modern Times, such as Capitalism, the Great Depression, and Industrialization. By analyzing the most important types of transitions used such as fades and cuts, as well as stylistic aspects like temporality and reaction shots, it is clear that Chaplin succeeds in making the best editorial choices to nurture the setting of the Great Depression and the struggles of industrialization in society.

To begin, Chaplin mainly relies on cuts to tell the story. Specifically in the factory scene, cuts are used between the control room and the assembly line; for example, between shots one and two of clip 2. Beyond that clip and throughout the scene, however, shots of Charlie are continuously interrupted by shots of the control room. There, the Boss orders a man to speed up the line. Then, the camera cuts to Charlie, who frantically tries to keep up with the changes. These cuts are used to create an anticipation in the audience. By cutting away from the assembly line and back to the...

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