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Dialogue overlap in Election

by Oliver Gaycken

This scene from Election is edited in a typical shot/reverse shot pattern. The conversation between Jim (Matthew Broderick) and Dave (Mark Harelick) is not synchronized with the cuts, however. Instead, a bit of dialogue is carried over the cut, which helps to make the cuts less noticeable. The dialogue overlapping in this scene also plays a narrative role. If you look and listen closely, you will notice a pattern. Dave's lines are consistently overlapped when his back is to the camera. The result is a subtle emphasis on Jim's position in the scene, which underscores how he is occupying the moral/ethical high ground (the cut to a closer framing of Jim also contributes to this effect).

Dialogue overlap in Election

A scene in Election that uses dialogue overlap

from Election (1999)
Creator: Alexander Payne
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Posted by Oliver Gaycken