The all-encompassing sequence shot

by Jorge Sanjinés, 1989

translated by Cecilia Cornejo and Dennis Hanlon

A visual essay depicting an early sequence shot in La nación clandestina

In the preceding scene, we hear exposition central to the plot.

Man: "I wonder, how did Sebastian know about El Gran Señor Danzante? He who never came to Willkani—how did he know?"

Woman: "You were very little and don't remember. He was seven when they danced the last Gran Señor Danzante around here...

Drawing by Sanjinés from script for the film. The cameraman, holding the camera, circles the dancer, then steps onto a crane. The crane tilts up and pans left to reveal the young Sebástian’s mother finding him watching the dance. This scene comes during the credit sequence.

The young Benedicto danced to death for... ...the community. Sebastian saw it all and ... ... it made a huge impression on him."
  In this sequence the handheld camera ... ... circles the dancers.
Figures move into close up as ... ... they pass by close to the cameraperson.  
The sequence shot's emphasis on the ... ...dancers ends with swirling close ups of ... ... the Grand Señor's mask.
    Now on the crane, the camera begins to ....
...tilt up and pan left.    
As the camera continues to pan left ...

... Sebastián’s mother is revealed.


With the crane continuing its movement left and up, the young Sebastián is revealed. The drawing above indicates a final planned dolly shot (represented by the rectangle on the left) following Sebastián and his mother home. In the finished film, the shot is cut after the camera pauses for this framing, and the titles appear. A graphic match cuts from Sebastian on the hill to a piper on a hill, with music and sound design credits superimposed.

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