Remember the Titans is a must see movie about an African-American head coach’s (Denzel Washington) first year coaching a newly racially integrated high school football team. Against much opposition and against the odds the racially diverse players set aside their differences in order to form an amazing football team that is a force to be reckoned with.
This films superb editing helps show a range of emotions from anger to sadness through an extremely difficult time in these young people lives. The editing is also used in order to show spatial and temporal changes in a smooth and appealing way. The way in which this film is put together also shows continuity in editing, to help the film flow and feel more natural.
The scene I picked shows spatial relationships between shots as well as temporal relationships between shot. In opening it shows the coach in front of the team from POV of one of the players in the back, you see the coaches face in focus clearly as silhouettes of the player’s heads move past showing that the team is all standing in front of the coach facing him. Then as the scene progresses the shot is shown from behind the team again to show the coach only this time farther back and elevated in order to show the whole room; here this shows the type of space the team is in and how they are occupying it. The scene then moves to the playing field where the players are training, this manipulation of time starts with an ellipsis to let us know that some time has passed from the church to the field, and then a montage begins. The montage shows several different training exercises and times if day all compressed into one, making the passage of time over a few hours happen in just minutes, without leaving out any major information.
A shot/reverse shot that is extremely good at showing spatial manipulation, as well as the way editing can display emotion is when the team is in the gym for their first meeting. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQaFjvUQIng) The coach and Petey have a conversation whch occurs in a shot/reverse shot layout, where the coaches face is shown when he is talking and then Petey’s during his reaction. Each time we switch to the view of Petey his emotion and reaction is clearly displayed on his face based off of what the coach is saying; we see confusion and helplessness, as well as a little bit of scaredness. An Iconic moment from the movie that uses shot/reverse shot technique is the “Left side Strong Side” scene, and almost anyone who has scene the movie will be able to recall this moment.
Editing in Remember the Titans helped in tremendous ways to show the emotion in a time during integration and to show the manipulation of time and space in order to better understand the movie.