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The editing of films is both a science and an art—and one of the most powerful keys we have for unlocking cinema's secrets

By Mark Cousins   May 2009

In my eight years of writing on cinema for this magazine, not once have I directly tackled the subject of editing in film. Given that the cut is the flickering medium’s greatest party trick, this is well nigh inexplicable. Maybe I’ve avoided the subject because it’s too big. Or maybe editing is just too close to home for me to get any perspective on it.

Whatever the reasons, I think I know why my silence has suddenly dawned on me. I’ve just spent nine weeks filming my history of cinema in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Beijing.…

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