Parallel Editing (‘Sightseers’ Spoilers)

To quote this video:

“Parallel editing (cross cutting) is the technique of continuously alternating two or more scenes that often happen simultaneously but in different location.”

This can be seen in the film ‘Sightseers’ (2012) when Chris is about to kill Ian.

Camouflage Tip of the Day: Red. Bright red. If it works for Wally then it’ll work for you.

 The beginning of this scene flits between shots of Chris following Ian, to Tina tossing and turning in her bed, to Ian’s wife preparing breakfast.

I wondered if the editing could also be classed as juxtapose because, as shown here ^^^,  a sleeping woman is an image of innocent, made even more so when compared to a man hunting down another man with murderous intent.

Likewise, a shot of a man picking up a murder weapon and woman picking up a breakfast food are two very different things with different meanings – but could create a different meaning when they’re put side by side.

By the way I have the biggest crush on Jonathan Aris, especially with his beard and glasses. I mean look at him!

Or… or kill him. Whatever…

The cuts to the other scenes act as foreshadowing – the cracking of the egg mirrors Ian’s demise. A mundane thing how has a hostile connotation, while something as horrific as murder is now seen as ordinary, insignificant and unimaginative.

Banjo/Poppy tried to warn Ian by barking just before Ian got attacked. However, while diegetic sound (sound that characters can actually hear) can be heard over the music, Banjo/Poppy’s bark is mute. This is to show that a warning would do Ian no good – Chris was going to get him no matter what.

The shots are now starting to speed up, but Ian’s fall to the ground is slow.

It is also cut up with shots of Tina and Janice. We, as an audience, want to shout out and warn Janice that her husband is in danger, and that Tina’s boyfriend is a psychopath. But we can’t. Instead we are forced to acknowledge that Ian death is inevitable and there’s nothing that we can do about it.

^^^This bit here when Ian’s wife, Janice, steps on a shard or crockery is also a form of foreshadowing as Chris purposefully broke their plate – claiming it to be an accident.

Chicken sacrifice. A death that is “needed” to be done. You can make the connection.

The shots are now becoming longer again to create suspense. It leaves us wondering what will happen next.

The scene ends with Tina waking up. The music has stopped. Was it just a dream?


In-text: (Sightseers, 2012)

Bibliography: Sightseers. 2012. [film] The Midlands: Ben Wheatley.


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