Thursday, March 05, 2009

Addicts 2008: Film Editing

Film Editing

Burn After Reading
Roderick Jaynes

I don't necessarily agree that multi-narratives represent a tougher job for the film editor, and Burn After Reading doesn't have the mammoth scope of an Iñárritu-style premise on its shoulders. But it's this very modesty, as a comedy of ruthless like-minded individuals in a fairly confined corporate setting, that allows the film to feel determined in its satire and cohesive in its message. The editing works well with the tone of the film, mirroring the mechanic day-to-day nature of corporate dominance, and making the lunatic greed of its brethren feel like a routine solution. Inviting of study through rigid measurement Jaynes always seems to linger upon people at their most cut-throat, and through their efficiency of character instigates the often chortle and squall, while alluding to how their actions could ever seem like a good idea.

The Class
Robin Campillo

If the entirety of my secondary school classes were condensed into two hours worth of footage it's difficult to know what would make the grade. The more I think about it the more it feels like Laurent Cantet's The Class gets it very right, skating comfortably between pestilence and harmony, allowing so many true personalities to surface, and deftly chronicling the tentative, fluctuating distance at which Mr. Marin observes and relates to his pupils. Robin Campillo's editing captures all of what a school year encompasses; friendships broken and re-made, discussions that act as a construction of community as much as a productive learning device, a smattering of insolence, reflection, and more than a little disruption.

Elliot Graham

When Milk began out of sync I'll admit I was a little worried it was going to flitter about too much. Thankfully, that didn't happen, and given that the film is above all a biopic, it's a crucial feat that Elliot Graham's editing achieves such a patient balance of Harvey's various political campaigns. The same can be true of his relationships, and perhaps most successfully in the integration of archival footage in the film, which acts as a graceful, appropriate and necessary inclusion. These well-placed snippets of the past form a fusion with the narrative, and consequently deter any sentimental tokenism that could have been brought about from their mishandling.

Quantum of Solace
Matt Chesse & Richard Pearson

In my
review of Quantum of Solace I wrote that:-

"Daniel Craig didn't edit this film but you feel like every burst of action, chase sequence, explosion, is somehow a product of the volatility he has brought to James Bond".

I'll re-iterate the point that he is not responsible for the film editing (I never thought he was but ya know), which in turn makes the achievements of Matt Chesse and Richard Pearson all the more greater. This film moves so well with Bond's thought process; the bursts of pace as escapism, the picturesque ruminative lulls in consciousness. Compact, accomplished, and since Quantum has such a linear style to it (more like a seventies Bond film, really) it needs to be as tight as a drum to hold our attention, and it is. Impressive work.

Helle le Fevre

There are scenes in Unrelated that I wanted to end before they did. From an emotional point-of-view that was entirely selfish, seeing as these moments are designed by nature to discomfort us. Genial conversations end and are often replaced with irrepressible tension and uncertainty that le Fevre helps to highlight. We get to know Anna in these sequences, through her erratic desires and misguided sense of belonging. The slow, revealing way that the picture unfolds results in a valuable sense of a group/family dynamic, and even in the most heated exchanges shows an incredible restraint, letting us view its characters' issues, more often than not, through a shifting environment rather than emotive displays or fierce confrontation.

Winner: Matt Chesse & Richard Pearson (Quantum of Solace)
Runner Up: Helle le Fevre (Unrelated)

Sad to Exclude

Joe Hutshing and Julie Monroe work wonders giving W. a bit of dynamism as it spans the decades, The Wrestler's Andrew Wiseblum contributes to its raw, fly on-the-wall feel, Kevin Stitt does his best to make Cloverfield seem like an authentic home video, and Man on Wire's Jinx Godfrey helps to create energy, even if the entire thing comes off as a little too uber-happy.

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