Watch a Great Video Essay About Cinema’s Greatest Dissolves

Slate's Culture Blog
July 12 2013 2:06 PM

The Dissolve Picks Cinema’s Greatest Dissolves

The dissolve from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
The dissolve from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Still from "The Dissolve on Dissolves."

Pitchfork’s new movie site the Dissolve has only been up three days, but it’s already off to a strong start. To celebrate its launch, the site’s editors asked Brow Beat contributor Kevin B. Lee, one of our favorite video essayists, to put together a video essay on (what else?) dissolves.

The result is a charming and enlightening look at some of the best examples of what’s often called the “invisible art” (film editing), through one of its key tools: the slow fade from one image to the next. Most of the selections are graphic matches—edits that highlight the similarity between two different images, such as a bone-club and an armed spaceship—and classic examples from Citizen Kane to Psycho are included. To his credit, Matt Singer finds a different kind of elegant dissolve in another great film: Space Balls.

While many are busy with premature mourning for “the death of movie culture,” we’re looking forward to more excellent discussion like this from the Dissolve.

Previously
Pitchfork Unveils New Movies Site: the Dissolve

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer.