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Editing and Chaos in The Untouchables

Use the most famous sequence in a Chicago gangster film to master a disorderly editing style

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The staircase sequence in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1980) takes place on location in Chicago's Union Station. The 7-minute-long segment is filmed methodically, using Hollywood's classical editing style. It makes you, the moviegoer, feel grounded in the story.  


But the Soviet film to which The Untouchables is paying homage here uses a vastly different style of editing—chaotic and disorienting in nature—leaving you feeling jarred and confused.


In this mini course with Chicago Movies Tours, you will walk virtually into Chicago's Union Station and learn: 

  • why Hollywood employs a continuous editing style and how to recognize it onscreen

  • why and how filmmakers diverge from this style

  • how The Untouchables and its Soviet predecessor tackle these two editing systems

An on-demand replay will be available for 1 week after the event.


Chicago Movie Club members, sign in to register free!

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Virtual Tour FAQs

How Do I Watch?

Unless listed otherwise, our virtual tours take place live on Facebook. Simply visit Chicago Movie Tours' Facebook Page at the scheduled time, and click PLAY on the live video.

 

(You do not need a Facebook account to watch live programs.)

Can I Get a Reminder?

Yes! If you'd like an email reminder, register here for the event at least 24 hours before it begins.

Can I Watch Later?

Virtual tours may not be available after their livestream. Because some of Chicago Movie Tours' virtual events include clips that may trigger social media censors, Facebook could remove the videos after the livestream, even though the material is considered fair use.

 

In short: it's a good idea to watch live.

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Your generous tips and donations—which help to cover costs of livestreaming software, archive and research memberships, on-location travel for virtual tour video footage, and more—ensure Chicago Movie Tours can continue creating free and affordable in-person and virtual events.

 

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Virtual Tour FAQs

What's Included

Chicago Movie Tours' virtual tours incorporate the following, when applicable, to bring the subject matter to life:

  • HD video

  • High-quality photos

  • Expertly designed animated slideshows

  • Clips and screengrabs

  • Maps (to orient you as you "travel" with us)

  • Vintage newspaper articles and ads

  • Classic movie fan magazine excerpts

  • Well-researched commentary

 

Additionally, we always include opportunities for audience contribution.

What's Included
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