Tag Archives: Dziga Vertov

Almost There!

The end is in sight, the edit on PLASTIC is almost over. The blog postings have been sparse of late to say the least, please bear with me dear readers; normal service will be resumed shortly.

I was thinking the other night, as I sat glassy eyed staring at Final Cut Pro wondering how the hell to solve a problem I had, that this play, at 40 minutes long, has pretty much been like editing half a feature. A short feature all the same but Woody Allen managed some good stuff in 80 minutes, ZELIG was less. I’m getting right into editing but will be happy to hand the baton to someone else for the upcoming short I’m making. A rest is as good as a change they say….

So all this editing has got me thinking about great editing in movies. I’m reading the Walter Murch book THE CONVERSATIONS just now and the man is inspiring. He demonstrates that there can be far reaching intentions in an edit, that the practice goes way beyond the mere splicing of film. Now that may be obvious to most of us but how many can name 10 editors that have won an Oscar? Walter Murch of course has cut many fine pictures. The directors cut of TOUCH OF EVIL for instance (what an honour that must have been) or APOCALYPSE NOW.

So great editing in pictures, pictures I remember being particularly well edited….. First up has to be:

Thelma Schoonmaker was tremendous on this film and of course, won an Oscar for her efforts. This clip isn’t the best, being youtube, but it gives a sense of the kinetic cutting that lends so much weight to the scene.

My second example is:

I love this film for so many reasons but none more than the editing. The Soviets were at the top of their game in the 20’s and the impact of that cinematic revolution can still be felt today. Dziga Vertov made MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA in 1929 and it still stuns me to this day. The way he marries cuts perfectly to the pace within the frame, which is often very fast, is breathtaking.

If you haven’t seen this film, please do. The small clip below doesn’t begin to do it justice but it gives you a taste of what could be…… enjoy.