Karen Pearlman

Dr Karen Pearlman is the author of Cutting Rhythms, Shaping the Film Edit (Focal Press, 2009) and its second edition Cutting Rhythms, Intuitive Film Editing (Focal Press, 2016). She is known for her pioneering work in articulating underlying principles concerning what rhythm in film is, how it is shaped and the purpose it serves in modulating cycles of tension and release for viewers.[1] The focus of her research and teaching, currently as Lecturer in Film Production at Macquarie University and formerly as Head of Screen Studies at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, is on the connection of theory and practice and making conceptual thinking accessible and useful to practitioners.[2] Many of her ideas about rhythm, editing, and affect derive from her career as a professional dancer on the opera house stages of the world with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and dancing and choreographing in the theatres, lofts and experimental dance venues of Australia, the USA and Europe. As well as using her understanding of kinesthetic empathy in her theorizing, she applies her choreographic sensibility to her own editing and dramaturgy of the multi award winning dance on screen works made by The Physical TV Company, which she co-directs with Richard James Allen.[3] In 2009 Dr Pearlman was elected President of The Australian Screen Editors Guild (ASE).


  • Pearlman, Karen (2016). Cutting Rhythms: Intuitive Film Editing. New York ; London: Focal Press, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group. pp. xxix, 264 p. : ill., 24 cm. ISBN 978-1-138-94608-8. (hbk. : alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-138-85651-6 (pbk. : alk. paper).
  • Pearlman, Karen (2009). Cutting Rhythms: Shaping the Film Edit. Amsterdam ; Boston: Focal Press/Elsevier. pp. xxix, 269 p. : ill., 24 cm. ISBN 978-0-240-81014-0. (hbk. : alk. paper) ISBN 0-240-81014-7 (pbk. : alk. paper).
  • Allen, Richard James; Karen Pearlman (1999). Performing the Unnameable: An Anthology of Australian Performance Texts. Sydney, N.S.W., Australia: Currency Press in association with RealTime. pp. xv, 203 p. : ill., 28 cm. ISBN 0-86819-420-4.
  • Allen, Richard James; Karen Pearlman (1996). New Life on the 2nd Floor. Launceston, TAS, Australia: Tasdance. pp. 76 p. : ill., 22 cm. ISBN 0-9586795-0-9.


  1. "Cutting Shapes". www.filmink.com.au. Retrieved 19 October 2009. Film Ink, "Cutting Shapes"
  2. "Cutting Rhythms By: Karen Pearlman, Publisher: Focal Press". UTS:Postgraduate. Retrieved 19 October 2009. UTS: Postgraduate, "Cutting Rhythms"
  3. "Cutting Rhythms - Shaping The Film Edit By Dr Karen Pearlman". memorabletv.com. Retrieved 19 October 2009.Memorabletv.com, "Cutting Rhythms"
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