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  • Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie

    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie

    December 16, 2009, 12:26 pm
    Christmas time is here and I am very open about my emotional resemblance to Ebenezer Scrooge regarding the season. To be completely honest, the overdose of Christmas music and decorations in every supermarket, shop, and restaurant I frequent gives me the urge to bust out my chainsaw and do a hyper-realistic Jason impression rather than be jolly. So, to kick off my first ever Christmas blog I thought that I’d watch people having crappy Christmases and subject my readers to the same Christmas pain by way of the top 5 MOMENTS OF DESPAIR...

    Criteria:
    -Main character must hit the "belly of the whale" of the movie
    -Editing should reflect the pain of the character as well as move the story
    -Bah Humbug.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

    This is an all around crappy Christmas that I would definitely be happy to NOT be a part of. That said, the scene where Chevy Chase hits rock bottom is edited so smoothly that I had to watch it three times in order to find the cuts without getting sucked into the film. You just don’t notice it. Not to mention that the tension keeps building with Chase going on about what’s in the envelope without opening it, and the cuts moving between close ups of him, the wife character, and the whole rest of the family in anticipation. Open it already! Oh, and enjoy your jelly of the month club subscription.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

    Christmas was ALMOST made cool until the armed forces shot Jack Skellington out of the sky and demanded the real Santa back. Oh well. At least animations have such well thought out edits making them not only beautiful to look at, but have everything flow and move very deliberately. This also gets extra points because Jack’s belly of the whale is manifested in a song.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    3. A Christmas Story (1983)

    I remember hating this movie whenever the teacher put it on for class the day before winter break. I hated it specifically because it was so frustrating to watch, and vowed after 9 years straight of watching it that I would never watch it again. Of course now I watch it and with my ripe old age of 23 have found a new appreciation for it— maybe it’s one of those movies that you don’t really "get" until you’re older. I digress. A Christmas Story actually has one really great scene that maybe isn’t exactly the belly of the whale of the big picture but is definitely the best edited moment and positively the biggest let down in the whole film. It’s when Ralphie gets his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and gets his first secret message. The editing gets more and more frantic as he’s finding his letters, getting closer and closer to the subject in the frame, only to be totally owned with a perfectly timed wide shot to help show Ralphie’s realization that the world revolves around capitalism (especially around Christmas time).
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    2. Scrooged (1988)

    By far the scariest Christmas film, Scrooged has an interesting editing feel to it that I’m not totally sure how to explain in words. In the belly of the whale scene, where the ghost of Christmas future brings Bill Murray to his very lonely funeral, he gets sucked into his own symbolic death by a flurry of disturbing images with an almost subliminal feel to it. It almost makes the viewer feel like he or she is suddenly trapped within a flaming coffin. Maybe I should stop being such a Scrooge... I think I’ll switch to Grinch-ette.
    Top 5 Edited Moments of Despair in a Xmas Movie
    1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

    This movie has a typical editing style for the period, but it’s a particularly good example of it. That might actually have something to do with why it’s such a classic and continues to be treated as such, even though the story is maybe a bit outdated (maybe it’s just me, but it’s hard for me to relate to someone who holds money in high enough regard to want to kill himself over it— he’s got such a great family! Who needs anything else?) In any case, the editing does a great job of frame matching as well as using long takes effectively (oh Jimmy Stewart). It’s so clean and deliberate, making it easy to watch even after watching it side by side with a quick-cut modern movie. This is also arguably the worst Christmas situation out of the bunch... He’s the only one that was so deep in that whale’s belly that he felt the need to jump off a bridge!
    Summary


    Regardless of what you celebrate, have a great December and take advantage of being with your family. I truly believe that there is nothing more important than time spent with loved ones, so make the most of it and don’t be a Scrooge in that sense! Happy holidays!

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • Light Sabre Battles! (v)
      EDITING

      Light Sabre Battles! (v)

      January 18, 2012, 3:00 pm
      As an interesting note, it was conveniently blocked by FOX just as the internet is on blackout strike today in solidarity against SOPA. American friends, please be aware that if SOPA passes, videos like this where I attempt to teach about film editing in a fun way will not be available anymore, even if I am in compliance with the Fair Use clause— in fact, I could be shut down, fined, and/or jailed without due process. If you like the internet and the ability to find information freely and easily, please educate yourself about this bill, and do whatever you can to stop it from passing!

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    • Top 5 Marx Brothers Films
      EDITING

      Top 5 Marx Brothers Films

      January 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
      First EDL of the new year up! Marx brothers, see? nyaah!

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    • Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)
      EDITING

      Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)

      December 14, 2011, 4:44 pm
      Have a video version of my very first Christmas blog, the best edited Moments of Despair in a Christmas film!

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    • Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine

      November 30, 2011, 11:29 am
      Check out this week's EDL, featuring the top 5 edited scenes with steam engines!

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    • Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!

      November 16, 2011, 1:28 pm
      I know I've covered this one in the past, but with the new video format I feel like I can really do some of previous written blogs justice. This one especially!

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    • Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop

      November 3, 2011, 1:54 pm
      Vlog number 3! Scenes on a mountain. See my epic climbing skills (not)...

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    • Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!
      EDITING

      Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!

      October 19, 2011, 1:19 pm
      In Vlog number 2 of the Edit Decision List, I look at the best edited scenes in a Mad Max Movie, as well as manage to completely butcher an Australian accent.

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    • Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes

      October 5, 2011, 12:07 pm
      My very first vlog covers the top 5 scenes in a Die Hard movie!

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    • Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis
      EDITING

      Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis

      September 21, 2011, 4:25 pm
      Metropolis is one of the most influential science fiction films of all time, and it's obvious that the editing has a lot to do with it. The expressive nature of the acting is superbly juxtaposed with epically framed shots in such a way that story isn't only easy to follow, but really fun to watch!

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    • Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes

      September 7, 2011, 12:16 pm
      Great scott! I must've blown a hole in the space-time continuum with my 1.21 "Jiggawatt" blog entry…

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