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External Rhythm: Highlander, Spatially Integrated Wipe

by Michael Frierson

In contemporary films, “mapping” the outgoing shot onto the incoming shot with a wipe can become very precise, adding creative complexity to the spatio-temporal transition.

In a scene in Highlander, the camera moves past the protagonist, tightens and tilts upward to an aquarium located behind him. The rippling edge of water from the incoming shot maps onto the aquarium in a “spatially integrated wipe.” As a result, the camera appears to rise from present day apartment/aquarium space into an ancient Scottish loch.

External Rhythm: Highlander, Spatially Integrated Wipe

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An overt spatio-temporal transition from present day apartment to ancient loch.

from Highlander (1986)
Creator: Russell Mulcahy
Distributor: EMI Films (UK), 20th Century Fox (US)
Posted by Michael Frierson