In the last chapter we introduced the notion that there is a tradition of nonlinear storytelling and that the technological shift to nonlinear editing has accelerated the consideration that this alternative approach to story is a viable option. As an option, however, it proceeds differently regarding shot selection and pace principally because the audience no longer experiences the narrative through a single main character; nor is the audience following the experience of that character from crisis to resolution.1 Indeed we may be following multiple main characters, and there may or may not be a resolution. The conventional story arc, with its implications for editing, may simply not be relevant in the nonlinear narrative.
In order to understand the different editing choices made in nonlinear narratives, we will look at 4 nonlinear films. To explore those choices in detail and to highlight their differences from the classic narrative, we will use the following framework.
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