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I did a little bit of online research on this, and it would appear that the American distributors considered the movie too long, complicated and controversial and employed the playwright Channing Pollock to make a new version. The American release was considerably shorter than the original (at 115 minutes it was about 25% shorter than the original) and ...
I think you are talking about repeated graphic match cut. From Wikipedia- A match cut, also called a graphic match (or, in the French term, raccord), is a cut in film editing between either two different objects, two different spaces, or two different compositions in which an object in the two shots graphically match, often helping to establish ...
No. Commercial breaks happened (presumably) during mundane events or periods of inactivity. The clock would pick up again when they returned from commercial break. The clock never ended at 42:00, it always ended at 60:00.
No. TV producers don't shoot more material to fill time on DVD releases that would normally go to commercials.
Rather than being a match cut, I have always known this type of edit as a FORM CUT. From the wiki entry for Form Cut: The cut joins together two pieces of film that contain two similarly shaped objects in similar positions in the frame. However - I would not refer to this as 'seamless', as the viewer is often acutely aware that the cut has taken ...
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