Short Cuts (1993)

It’s no accident that the soundtrack of many scenes throughout the 3 hour running time of Short Cuts is jazz. Jazz is improvisational music, familiar elements constructed over a backbone that shifts and changes, reflecting life’s messiness. Short Cuts is the same, weaving plot elements and character archetypes you might recognise into an immense, organic tapestry.

I’ve never liked the “here’s a bunch of characters and plotlines that inevitably intersect” films, no matter how well (Magnolia) or poorly (Crash) they’re constructed. It’s because they feel shallow and artificial, the characters are reduced to one or two distinctive elements (there’s no time to treat them with complexity) and plotlines involve neat coincidences. Short Cuts doesn’t do that – hence it’s both the only film of this type that I like and one of my favourite films of any genre.

Short Cuts watches its players from afar, then darts from one character to another, and this reflects the film’s overall approach, treating them as people rather than cogs in a plot machine. Some stories reach a clear climax, others peak early then trickle away. There’s joy, ambiguity and huge, heartbreaking sadness, painted with confidence that grants the film an incomparable feeling of verisimilitude.

Rating: 192/200

3 thoughts on “Short Cuts (1993)

  1. Pingback: Carbon Copy

  2. Pingback: The Master (2012) « Carbon Copy

  3. Pingback: Nymph()maniac (2014) | ccpopculture

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