Inivitation scroll


In The General Line, two brothers decide to divide their land. The wife and children of one of the two men are watching this dividing up.

In this sequence, the editing builds on the movements of the saw manipulated by the two brothers and highlights the of their gestures.
The links movements that are both repetitive and in – they move in opposite , which reinforces the idea of a division.

The cuts to shots on the woman’s face as she looks up to the two men create a with these repeated and fragmented forms: the oval of her almost motionless face is in opposition to the sharp movements of the saw. The effect of contrast is also  : in fact, the shots of the woman watching are than the sawing shots with which they alternate and create matches.
This intense manual activity is highlighted by shots on the two men. These shots are not only repetitive but also increasingly which produces an effect on their work rhythm. Doubts arise as to the of the plot, which is condensed by temporal .
In one minute of , we go from a low standing wall to the same wall, now clearly lower. The of the plot is disturbed by the close-ups on the logs of wood : we seem to be returning to the same log from different and these close-ups less and less to the shots of the rest of the setting. This elliptical and representation of the same action replaces the complete and rendering of the wall’s demolition.

As the sequence progresses, the temporal become increasingly and underscored by very pronounced visual that "sweep across the image" : (from right to then from to ) introduce jumps to a near (also called ), with the shot of an unfenced field to a shot of the same field now by a fence. Then when we again return to the shots of the saw, the order of the sequence is further disrupted by editing that creates a closer link between two non- events : the transformation of the two brothers’ land and the movement of the saw. The editing creates a relationship of – the sawing action – and – the divided fields.
The between the fields and ultimately gives the impression that the saw is literally the two brothers’ field. Creating this parallelism amplifies the formal interplay of effects that are developed throughout the sequence, notably the opposing directions (diagonal, vertical, horizontal) in the different frame compositions. This interplay on segmentation is all the more visible due to the rhythm of the editing.

As a result, the ongoing fragmentation impacts the editing itself and seems to give space and a kaleidoscopic dimension: the faster the of the editing, the more the plot and the more the space. At the end of the process comes the total of the two brothers, who are already partly isolated by the and the , even though they are still linked to each other by the saw.

The tool is replaced by the fences: shots of fences are between the shots of the two men as the unfolds not only but also symbolically. What creates a continuity between the shot of the brother standing alone and the shot of the brother surrounded by his family? The , match perhaps, but nothing in the gives any evidence that a spatial relationship still exists between them.