Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Look Ahead to Best Editing.

I thought I’d have a little look at Editing instead of revising for exams, but then I realised that I actually didn’t know a damned thing about Editing (I always just tend to give editing to films with flashy editing and/or films I like), so I asked someone who knows more than me about films for some help, and here this is the key phrase of his that I thought I’d lift:

“People misunderstand editing all the time. Like, Babel and Blood Diamond cut back and forth between different plotlines and people usually commend the editing for it, when that's obviously script (plot structure is script, not editing).”

So. I’ll try really hard to actually evaluate the editing today, and not merits of the script, or whatever.

These are the nominees:
Babel
Blood Diamond
Children of Men
The Departed
United 93

How I did: 40%. Terribly, in other words.
Random: Babel aside, the films nominated here all feature a fair few action sequences, which are always hard to edit. But were they edited well?

Babel (Douglas Crise & Stephen Mirrione)
Like last year’s winner for Best Editing (and undeserved winner for Best Film, I might add), Babel works the whole multi-linear storyline thing. The seemingly random jumps between differing narrative threads in the film build up to a finale where everything eventually comes together. In that sense, the editing works quite well, especially considering the crisp, unfussy style. But at over 140 minutes, Babel could have done with trimming down some of its (self-indulgent) running time.
Grade: B-

Blood Diamond (Steven Rosenblum)
Quite a surprise come Oscar time, because, unless I’m mistaken, Blood Diamond was not a film that was particularly noted for its editing. Anyway, I really can’t remember the editing in this film, to be honest, which is in a way good, because it served its purpose to be non-intrusive to the storyline. Still, aside from the quick cuts, what was there?. Kinda boring.
Grade: C+

Children of Men (Alex Rodriguez)
Some have bashed this film for being over-edited, but this was a film where I really appreciated the editing work. I felt it complemented the hand-held cameras perfectly, invoking that much-needed sense of urgency that Theo’s character no doubt feels. The pace might feel a little too languid at times, but overall, for such a scope of storytelling, I feel that the editor pretty much did what he could here.
Grade: B+

The Departed (Thelma Schoonmaker)
A film with splendid editing! 66 years old but putting all “hip” editors to shame, long-time Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker was the deserved winner for Best Editing in 2005 for her masterful work in The Aviator, despite many people whining about that continuity error in the scene where Howard auditions that actress. My my. Some people are so picky! Anyway, the fragmented – in a good way –editing here comes with switchblade precision and perfectly suits the movie, and juggles between the many different characters aptly. This is also helped, of course, with the choices of music which supplement every scene. And I saw lots of Leo, which was also nice.
Grade: A-

United 93 (Claire Douglas & Chrostpher Rouse)
Here was a film in which I despised the Editing. Seriously! There was nothing to commend! The film has no sense of rhythm, and the jumps into between locations are random and pointless. I was also extremely unimpressed with how the editing how sometimes resembled that of a thriller, as if making the whole United 93 event out to be “filmic.” Ahem. The real-time idea is commendable but hardly original, and, essentially, I was feeling like time was passing too slowly when watching this movie. And I swear you’re meant to feel the opposite?
Grade: E


Who will win: The Departed
Who deserves to win: The Departed
Who deserved to be Nominated: Pan's Labyrinth


Other categories I've looked at: Animated Film, Make-Up.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

United 93 was shit. It deserves lower than an E

Emma said...

Well, I quite agree, but I was grading it on its editing, which deserved a (slightly) higher grade than the overall "product."

bowlerhatman said...

I think this is the order of likeliness:

01.Babel
02. Departed
03. 93
04. Children
05. Blood

Emma said...

Well, the thing about Babel is that it greatly rips off an 80s Altman flick, like Crash did. And Crash won last year, so the Oscars obviously aren't averse to that sorta crap.

skdfjldfdfdf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emma said...

Okay, that was hilarious, but I'm still deleting it.

dan said...

I've got to agree about the pointless editing in United 93. of course, it didn't help that the camerawork looked like it was filmed by a monkey, but the editing was a complete washout. there were way too many shots of people looking scared, praying, or saying "shit". What crapness

Anonymous said...

Everyone who's knocking U93 - SHUT UP!

owner of the blog said...

Why don't you shut up?

alex said...

Dan - your analysis is hilarious - and accurate!

I want Babel to win this.

Hawk said...

You know my thoughts on this! I agree with your ranking, if not with your grading. MY line-up, anyway...

01. Miami Vice (second best montage of the decade)
02. Old Joy (there's something very Malickesque about it)
03. Marie Antoinette (poetic, surreal, and progressive)
04. The Black Dahlia (forgot why, um, but it was great)
05. The Departed (you said it!)

Haven't seen Rocky Balboa, but I'm sure it's the real best.

Anonymous said...

Anyone but United 93 to win this one!

Emma said...

Rocky Balboa's editing was laughable.

And yes, I'd pretty much be content if United 93 doesn't win.

Hawk said...

Ask that certain someone who you say "knows more than [you] about films" about Balboa. I'm sure he'll disagree!

Emma said...

Oh, so you've seen Rocky then!

Hawk said...

Now I have! And I disagree. : D

Emma said...

Damnit. But yeah, doesn't this page look uber tacky?

Hawk said...

Just because it's about something most people haven't got a clue about? Well, even if it is tacky, it's just as tacky as United 93 and Blood Diamond's editing, so it makes sense. You know, form follows function. And so it goes.