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Tuesday, May 14, 2002

spare squares

"Splitting up the screen has slipped into movies and TV shows so deftly that almost no one has pointed out what a break it makes with the past. Except for a brief, astonishing moment in the late '60s, with movies like Richard Fleischer's "The Boston Strangler" and Norman Jewison's original version of "The Thomas Crown Affair" and, of course, "Woodstock," edited by the brilliant Thelma Schoonmaker (among others, including a then-unknown Martin Scorsese), the history of film has been a history of the single screen: one image, one shared moment in time. An artist once insisted to me that you couldn't have it otherwise; the moment you break up that screen, you destroy the illusion that allows you to carry off your audience."