French New Wave Cinema, Meet Top Chef

I was catching up with my old lover TiVo last night, having been occupied every night for the past week and a half (by the end of this busy stretch, I’ll have had daily & nightly obligations for a solid two weeks).

Top priorities: America’s Next Top Model and Top Chef.

Top Chef‘s episode of two weeks ago, the one where they cater the dinner for the nonprofit, was especially timely in light of the work happening here on this blog this week. Aside from the fundraising aspect, I want to draw your attention to the post-elimination aspect of the episode, where the formerly-chummy contestants break down into a full-on shouting match that nearly becomes a lesbianism-fueled brawl (perhaps she needs “Pocket Shiva,” the calming doll device for lesbians, as recently seen on The Big Gay Sketch Comedy Show).

What you’ll noticed about this argument, and many reality-tv arguments, is the use of Godard’s jump cutting technique, where, to paraphrase the words of the NYT article referenced yesterday, Godard kept only the shots he liked and cut out anything he didn’t like. The jarring result is inspired and brilliant, and was then an entirely new approach to editing.

Now, it keeps the viewer from being bored and allows contestants to appear to be awfully articulate when arguing–or, at least, it preserves for us only their most serious examples of jackassery.

And really—isn’t that what television’s for?

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