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For this video editing project, Luisa and I decided to attempt the impossible: turn Stranger Than Paradise into an exciting (!) and more mainstream film, while emphasizing those kind of storylines that are typical of conventional Hollywood movies. Specifically, we insisted on a burgeouning romance between Willy and Eva, and we suggested some dubious affairs regarding money and shady individuals. This way, we thought that the fabula could be understood to follow a very typical story arc that is completely at odds with the film’s uneventful, vignette-type presentation: the two lovers meet, everything is great at first, they have fun and fall in love, but then he gets into shady business (in order to provide for her financially?), they start fighting, she leaves, and now this is all a memory as he sits heartbroken in the car and watches out the window. We liked the idea of framing their pseudo-romance as a memory or flashback, so – inspired by Orson Welles’ style – we used dissolves and fade in/fade outs to create the illusion of flashback.

We used music from the film at key moments (in the beginning, introducing her dance as his memory/fantasy/daydream – up to “Willy, are you awake?”) and at the end, in order to create a mood that is both melancholic and consistent with the rest of the film. In choosing the shots and making the cuts, we also tried to speed up the pace of the movie, which was rather difficult because of the long take style and the slow, awkward interacting between its protagonists.

We look forward to talking more about this in class and we hope you enjoy the video!

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