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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
    • Top 5 Edited Charlie Sheen Features
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Charlie Sheen Features

      March 23, 2011, 11:56 am
      I know I’m basically a week late on the hype, but because he’s been all over the news and I like watching him, I thought I’d do a blog on our good ol’ friend Charlie Sheen!

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    • Top 5 Edited Films with a Podiatric Ref. in Title
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Films with a Podiatric Ref. in Title

      March 9, 2011, 12:09 pm
      I don’t really have a good intro to this topic besides that I thought it would be fun. It turned out to bring a very wide selection of genres and proves that one word (or concept around a single object) can have a plethora of meanings.

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    • Top 5 Edited Films Centred Around Civil Uprising
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Films Centred Around Civil Uprising

      February 23, 2011, 1:56 pm
      With all that’s happening in the Middle East and North Africa, I thought it would be timely to do a topic on civil revolutions, uprisings, and protests. This is kind of a tough one because the context for an uprising could be a number of things, so I did my best to pick the suggestions given to me that seemed to suit current events.

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    • Top 5 Edited Documentaries of 2010
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Documentaries of 2010

      February 9, 2011, 11:55 am
      I like to consider documentary as my specialty, considering that’s what the bulk of my work has consisted of and I love cutting it more than any other genre. That said, there is no right or wrong way to make a documentary. Ultimately it comes down to what you want the viewer to get out of it—taking the usual adage of "the story is king" to its limits by way of propaganda, persuasion, vignette, or other forms of storytelling. Sometimes, ambiguity is the story. I could go on...

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    • Best Edited Drama Feature in 2010
      EDITING

      Best Edited Drama Feature in 2010

      January 26, 2011, 10:19 am
      Although I didn’t get to see a lot of movies in the theatre, I did manage to see enough to know that 2010 was a great year for cinema. From animation to documentary there have been some solid additions to the world’s cinematic library. Today I’m going to focus on dramatic features based on my reader’s suggestions.

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    • Best Edited Scenes in a Tron Movie
      EDITING

      Best Edited Scenes in a Tron Movie

      January 12, 2011, 1:49 pm
      When I was little I remembered Tron as being the coolest thing ever, especially since I was definitely a little geek at the time. On the surface it’s a bunch of cool special effects with a fun story, but when delved into a little deeper I’ve noticed that there is a lot of attention paid to the craft of filmmaking. This is especially true with the editing. The new Tron, upholds a couple of those attentions, but to a lesser extent.

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    • Top 5 Edited Animated Christmas Musical Movies
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Animated Christmas Musical Movies

      December 15, 2010, 11:55 am
      As I’m sure you remember from last year, I’m a bit of a scrooge/grinch when it comes to Christmas. And frankly, I was looking forward to bringing you a Chanukah special instead of this, but this particular Christmas is a little nuts for me. So, I’ll get it next year, I promise (next time I’m hoping to do something New Year’s related... Don’t forget, I always welcome topic suggestions!).

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    • Top 5 Scenes Involving Leslie Neilsen (Theatre-run
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes Involving Leslie Neilsen (Theatre-run

      December 1, 2010, 12:26 pm
      Comedy is one of the hardest genres to cut, because it is, many times, up to the editor to sell the joke. Fortunately, there are a few actors that are true comedians in the sense that it is obviously natural to them, making the movie fun to work with. I can only imagine that the late Leslie Neilsen was one of those actors. The deadpan way in which he delivered his lines was so flawless that few actors have been able to match him.

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    • Top 5 Edited Scenes in an Indiana Jones Movie
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Scenes in an Indiana Jones Movie

      November 17, 2010, 2:34 pm
      Growing up as a little girl, I always wanted to be the good-looking archaeologist/adventurer... like Indiana Jones (though I wouldn’t complain about being Lara Croft, either). His tongue-in-cheek but painfully smart demeanour was something to look up to, and solving crazy puzzles leading to adventure in far away places was (and honestly, still kind of is) something to achieve in life. (Then that last movie came out... My reaction was similar to how the kids reacted in the TV show South Park.)

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    • Top 5 Edited Studio Ghibli Films
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Studio Ghibli Films

      November 3, 2010, 1:35 pm
      When I was a little kid I must have watched "My Neighbour Totoro" about a million times. I couldn’t get over the awesomeness of the big grey one with a leaf hat. Since then, I followed the new animated films that Studio Ghibli (the studio that created Tortoro) produced, and I ate them up equally as eagerly as I did when I was little. I got my hands on the complete collection this past week, and found that they created a wide array of styles and subject matter, some better than others. I’ve talked before about the fundamental differences in cutting animation versus live action, but looking a little deeper at the editing of Japanese anime in particular I realized that there are a couple of cultural differences that reflect in the editing as much as in the drawing styles.

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