There is a "zoom" where a series of short clips, each one getting closer to the subject, are shown in quick succession. I've seen it in a number of movies and in possibly more than one Kubrick film.

Here it is in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Does this technique have a name?

1 Answer 1


Axial Cut / Concentration Cut

From wikipedia:

An axial cut is a type of jump cut, where the camera suddenly moves closer to or further away from its subject, along an invisible line drawn straight between the camera and the subject. [...] [A]n axial cut is a way of maintaining the illusion of continuity.

The intervening footage (as the camera moves or zooms) is then removed while editing the film.

David Bordwell's article Seed-beds of style has many picture showing the effect, e. g. the four pictures of the beaurocrat under siege in Dovzhenko’s Arsenal (1929). He notes

The Soviets called such cuts “concentration cuts,” a good term for the way they make a figure seem to pop out at us. From being a simple enlargement (in tableau cinema) or one among many methods of penetrating the scene’s space (in Hollywood continuity), the axial cut has been given a new force, thanks to adding more shots and making them quite brief.

Regarding the scene from Odyssey 2001, it's notable how it stays on the axis. Here's a video showing how Kurosawa and Hitchcock used that type of cut, sometimes more cloesely resembling what Kubrick did:

Regarding Kubrick, I found this mention (in French) by Nausica-Zaballos-Dey:

concentration cut (utilisé par Stanley Kubrick pour filmer l’oeil rouge et impassible de Hal 9000 dans 2001, l’odyssée de l’espace)


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