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  • Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations

    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations

    February 10, 2010, 8:33 am
    Really, any play written for theatre is extremely hard to translate to film and make it filmic. This is especially true for particularly wordy plays, such as anything written by Shakespeare. The number one rule "show not tell" has to be creatively re-thought to make it work in order to translate to screen, and to do that is more easily said than done.



    Criteria:
    -Original text must be (mostly) kept in tact
    -Editing brings something unique/new/particularly "film" to the play
    -Usual rules of montage, continuity, etc.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    5. As You Like It (2006)

    At first this film makes the viewer go "eh?" (and not just Canadians...). The cast is multicultural and it takes place in Japan, adding a Japanese cultural twist to the play. Consequently the movie is beautiful to look at and easy to watch, as well as well acted and cut. I especially liked the sumo wrestling scene, because it had a particularly well thought out montage: tense, interesting, and overall cool.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    4. Romeo + Juliet (1996)

    This is the epitome of modernizing Shakespeare, and the editing has a lot to do with how they managed to pull it off. It intercuts guerrilla-style news clips, making it clear to the viewer that the city of Verona is inadvertently intertwined in the conflict between two families (companies?). When a Capulet sneezes, it’s more newsworthy than a war overseas. The overall editing style is fast-paced, choppy, and has no problems using cheesy transitions such as box wipes. It’s effective in making the movie very stylized and interesting to watch, but ultimately it hits the viewer over the head and actually gets a bit tiring. That said, it takes the play to a completely different level than Shakespeare could’ve imagined. Makes me wonder what he’d think about it...
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    3. Richard III (1995)

    This film’s editing is so well thought out that it sucks you into the story, and makes it easy to understand, follow, and watch. It has an almost "call and answer" style of editing, where one angle is perfectly followed up by an opposite angle, and conceptually it makes sense in the viewer’s head. Bonus points for Sir Ian breaking the 3rd wall and making his monologues have more of an audience interaction than the typical talking to oneself. This helps it stay true to the original point of a monologue in a play rather than just representing the monologue on film.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    2. Hamlet (1996)

    When I started watching the film, my notes consisted of "too rushed" and "weird montage/cut— my eye is going all over the place." It seemed as if the editing was trying too hard to be purely illustrative and showcase the acting more than tell the story, but I found myself ensconced and thinking "wow I could learn something from this edit" about 15 minutes in. Suddenly my notes took a different turn and I realized what an interesting way to tell Hamlet this is. Brian Blessed is terrifying the first time Hamlet meets his ghost, and this is largely in part due to the heavy cutting and particular way in which the montage was pieced together leading up to his reveal. It was at that point that I realized that I could forgive the "too rushed" feel that I originally had— aside from the fact that the epic film is 4 hours long, even rushed.
    Top 5 Edited Shakespeare Film Adaptations
    1. Titus (1999)

    I still don’t totally get the kid throughout the film, but I do understand that the montage was so beautiful to watch that it was hypnotic. It was hard to pull away and take notes. Every movement makes sense and leads to the next movement as if it was supposed to be there. On top of that, it could jump from ancient to modern art direction and still carry the story. It’s obvious what drives this film— the edit and the art direction take precedence over the text, and makes it a successful film adaptation.

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    • 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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