CineFix has put together their selection of top 10 most effective editing moments of all time in the video above. Skilled editing is as effective in the creation of a good film as a writer, director, or performer. Though often overlooked, editing brings shots together to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. These ten movies are a fantastic illustration of just how important editing can be.
- City of God
Director: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Editor: Daniel Rezende
City of God was my first full-length feature film so I started out as part of the generation that use digital editing. I can’t make a fair comparison with the “classic” editing process as I am unfamiliar with it. What I can say in favour of the non-linear process made possible with digital technology is that it, without doubt, saves a huge amount of time. This allows you to try out a lot more ideas, and such experimentation gives you a much higher chance of achieving better results.
- Bonnie and Clyde
Director: Arthur Penn
Editor: Dede Allen
I learned a lot about performance from Arthur Penn, with whom I did six pictures. I learned a lot about everything — including psychology — from Elia Kazan. From Paul Newman I learned a great deal about acting. From Warren Beatty you learn a lot about everything, including how to be smarter in life. Warren’s one of the best producers I’ve ever had. He was our producer on Bonnie and Clyde. He was 30 years old then. He’s a very, very brilliant guy. You learn, and he learns from you because he lets you teach. He works with people very well, much like Kazan does.
George Tomasini had a varied and fascinating career. He edited nine films for Alfred Hitchcock, including Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North By Northwest (for which he received an Academy Award nomination), Psycho and The Birds.
- The Godfather
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Editor: William Reynolds, Peter Zinner
- Battleship Potemkin
Director: S.M. Eisenstein
Editor: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Editor: George Tomasini
- Un Chien Andalou
Director: Louis Bunuel
Editor: Luis Buñuel
- Apocalypse Now
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Editor: Lisa Fruchtman, Gerald B. Greenberg, Walter Murch
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Editor: Ray Lovejoy
There is something of the confession booth to the editing room, where the omissions and commissions of shooting are whispered and discretely absolved by concealment or alchemically transformed into discoveries. Or maybe it is due to the very lack of deep-rooted tradition: there is not (yet) a rich vocabulary to describe what goes on as moving images mingle and fertilise each other, so we remain mute. Or cryptic: ‘Why did you make that cut?’ ‘I don’t know — itjust felt right.’ Whatever the cause, this reticence is thankfully — after more than a hundred years — beginning to disappear. Several compilations of interviews with American film editors have been published in the last decade, but Fine Cuts: The Art of European Film Editing is notably the first collection to focus on European editors with their inspiringly diverse ways of assembling film. It also features illuminating guest appearances by a number of European directors — Godard, Varda, Tarkovsky, Truffaut, Mackinnon, Tarr — offering their insights into the editing process.
What gives all of these interviews their complexity and warmth is not only the ten different nationalities, but even more so the richly diverse and ‘uncinematic’ family backgrounds of the editors collected here. Had they followed in their parents’ footsteps they would have instead become teachers, pilots, tailors, doctors, farmers, chemists, vegetable sellers, astronomers, bookkeepers, salesmen, road workers, dry cleaners, dentists or civil servants. Luckily for the readers of this marvellous book, and for world cinema, they took another route and — to use Godard’s evocative description of film editing — transformed chance into destiny, making the varied circumstances of their lives a reflection of montage at its most sublime, when accidental moments are propelled by structure into inevitability. —Walter Murch
I highly recommend this excellent book of interviews by Roger Crittenden. The book is available at Amazon. Photos courtesy of Michal Leszczylowski and Jacob Forssel.
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