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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 Scenes in a Nightmare on Elm Street M
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Nightmare on Elm Street M

      October 20, 2010, 2:19 pm
      One, two, Freddy's coming for you... Three, four, better lock your door... Five, six, grab your crucifix... Seven, eight, better stay up late... Nine, ten, never sleep again...

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    • Best Edited Scenes in a Phantom of the Opera Movie
      EDITING

      Best Edited Scenes in a Phantom of the Opera Movie

      October 6, 2010, 12:17 pm

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    • Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Movie With Hannibal the C
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Movie With Hannibal the C

      September 22, 2010, 1:21 pm
      Being the impatient-minded movie freak that I am, I don’t generally find pleasure in reading books. That said, there have been a handful (literally) that I’ve found myself liking so much that I read them over and over; one of those groups is the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris (what can I say, I love the character of a charming, high-class artist who’s detestation for rudeness compels him to eat those rude people). Unfortunately, the series of movies made from the books don’t hold up in as good a quality as the books (with some exception), but they’re still fun to watch.

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    • Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film
      EDITING

      Top 5 Magical Moments in a Harry Potter Film

      September 8, 2010, 4:26 pm
      One of my colleagues is off helping to turn Harry Potter 7 (Part 1) into 3D, and needless to say it made me want to have a Harry Potter marathon. So, thanks to this blog I’m able to find a better excuse to indulge my movie watching cravings... At the same time, we can look at the popular movies to see if we can learn reasons why they are so popular, and why the craft of editing helps to make viewers escape from reality and believe in magic (among other things). For the Harry Potter series in particular, I find that a certain kind of pacing is a strong theme that is used successfully.

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    • Top 5 Edited Predator Hunts
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Predator Hunts

      August 25, 2010, 2:43 pm
      24 August 2010 <br><br> There are many aliens out there that hunt humans, but the only one that seems to have shown any true mercy or feelings is the Predator. That said, they do make humans prey for sport, so I don’t really know how much credit I can actually give them...

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    • Top 5 Training Montages
      EDITING

      Top 5 Training Montages

      August 11, 2010, 1:32 pm
      There’s a statistic out there that states that it takes the average person 10,000 hours to truly master something. My husband and I did the math, and it averages out to a little over 5 solid years if you treated your training like a 40 hour/5 day a week job with no vacations or long weekends. The beauty of film is that we don’t only condense those years into a matter of minutes with a montage, but we also suspend our belief as far as how long it actually takes to get really good at something. There’s an interesting (and bittersweet) article about the social implications of the cinematic training montage here: http://www.cracked.com/article_18544_how-the-karate-kid-ruined-modern-world.html (note, the author can be crude, so if you’re not into that kind of humour then don’t read it). But until we remember that it’s a lot harder to master something than it looks, let’s enjoy the artistic aspects of the training montage.

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    • Top 5 Edited Tarantino + Menke Films
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Tarantino + Menke Films

      July 28, 2010, 11:05 am
      28 July 2010<br><br> As an editor, one of the best things ever is to find a director that you work really well with. There are a few editors that have this kind of long term partnership, like Schoonmaker and Scorsese, or Sanders and Cronenberg for example. There’s one duo, however, who have established a very specific style together over the years, and that’s Menke and Tarantino. Some themes that run throughout their work together (from an editing perspective) are long takes, wide shots, the emulation of various 1970’s era movie styles, and of course fun with the concept of time through the use of chapters.

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    • Top 5 Edited Belly of the Whale Moments in a Pixar
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Belly of the Whale Moments in a Pixar

      July 14, 2010, 1:54 pm
      As storytellers we have to be aware of the different types of story structure, and each part of every type of story. One part that all types have in common is called the "Belly of the Whale," or the part in which the main character(s) hit the lowest low in the situation at hand. This part marks the turning point in the main character’s development, and therefore it’s important that the way that it is told is exceptionally strong. One company that seems to consistently nail it by making the Belly of the Whale unique, touching, and still able to have a little bit of humour in it, is Pixar (my dream employer).

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    • Top 5 Edited Wolverine Fight Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Wolverine Fight Scenes

      June 30, 2010, 8:33 pm
      30 June 2010 <br> I’ve always loved comic books, and X Men was a definite favourite. When the movies came out, I was also excited. Being the fan that I am, I hoped that they would stick to the original stories (they strayed a bit) but still they were fun and I enjoyed them. In any case, I felt like watching X Men this weekend and because Wolverine is my favourite character, you’re going to be subjected to my whims once again.

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    • Top Five Captian Kirk Moments in a Star Trek Feat.
      EDITING

      Top Five Captian Kirk Moments in a Star Trek Feat.

      June 16, 2010, 7:21 am
      Captain Kirk is an important figure in pop culture and TV history. For Trekkies, he’s the beginning of a lifestyle. For TV he was the male counterpart in the first ever, interracial kiss broadcasted. For editors, Shatner’s campy (yet sincere and believable) acting as well as his seemingly deliberate movements make Kirk easy to cut. I know he’s on my top 10 list of people I hope to meet someday! (Mr. Shatner that is, not Kirk...)

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