Tag Archives: Walter Murch

Summer Lovin’

The sun is out and the darkness has gone. It only seems like yesterday that we were huddled round a cigarette in the grips of winter, wondering with pleading eyes if we’d see another dawn.

Things have been busy and posting has been as sparse as a good Guy Ritchie movie. Notice how I don’t tag Guy Ritchie on this post, the man is loathsome. THE THREE TENNERS is now at the latter stages of post production. This evening I’ve been creeping around the streets of Ravelston (the place where I live) like Walter Murch trying to find the wonderful nuance of sound that will bring my film to life. Where in this picture can I find a place for a boiler sparking into life? I swear to god it’s like a post apocalyptic rescue ship taking off from the dusty, barren remains of the earth, or at least it sounds like it.

murch_fcp
Murch at work

Last night I returned to watching films like a Charlton Heston slurping water unknowingly from Jesus in BEN HUR. It was a magic feast which included the following picture.

8 1-2 poster

Now this to me was a bit of an achievement. YES Fellini is one of the finest, most technically gifted filmmakers to have ever walked the earth, YES 8 1/2 is always in the top five, usually top 2 of the best films ever but do you think I could get through this thing without falling asleep?….. No. it may be that there is some kind of subliminal hypnotic thing going on with his pacing, lighting and camera moves because his films always have a valium type affect on me. Last night I pumped myself with enough caffeine to keep an elephant awake and sat through it……… The picture is tremendous.

8 1-2]

Marcello Mastroianni is Guido, a film director trying to get to grips with his creativity, His many women and the array “guiding” voices that surround him, confusing his work with either simplistic babbling or pretentious over analysis. He slips into many dreams of childhood exposure to sex, religion and his experience of life with dazzling imagery and incredibly staged scenes. This is truly filmmaker’s film. I found myself rewinding scenes, playing them slow, examining cuts, moves and lighting with intense precision. I can feel a Fellini spell coming on which could blow my admiration gaskets after just coming out of a Josef Von Sternberg marathon. Incredible stuff, seriously, get a hold of it, you WON’T be disappointed.

I have to show a scene and what better than a big old slice of Saraghina. The only shame about this clip is you don’t see the horrific dressing down Guido suffers after satisfying his boyish curiosity. The priests are not as harsh as his Mother who comes close to disowning the boy. And what about Saraghina herself?? What a woman!! There she is just hanging about the beach doing the rumba for anyone who happens to be carrying some change. She reminds me of an ex I once had, the only difference is she’d rumba for free.

I’d love to post some more of this film as there’s so much great stuff. I don’t have the time so we’re on Youtube existing stock tonight folks, do enjoy though…….

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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.