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  • Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films

    Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films

    May 19, 2010, 12:25 pm
    After the last blog entry with the book list, I found myself inspired to revisit Tarkovsky’s body of work. If you’ve read it, you’ll know that he was a stickler for long takes and very little cutting; each cut has a specific purpose and is used more for bringing the viewer into the next part of the story and the rhythm of the story rather than the cut itself or for montage. So, we’ve seen long takes with the emphasis on performance (i.e. Keitel), and now let me wrap up with long takes with the emphasis on story rhythm.

    After the last blog entry with the book list, I found myself inspired to revisit Tarkovsky’s body of work. If you’ve read it, you’ll know that he was a stickler for long takes and very little cutting; each cut has a specific purpose and is used more for bringing the viewer into the next part of the story and the rhythm of the story rather than the cut itself or for montage. So, we’ve seen long takes with the emphasis on performance (i.e. Keitel), and now let me wrap up with long takes with the emphasis on story rhythm.
    Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films
    5. Ivanovo Detstvo (1962) (Ivan’s Childhood)

    This was Tarkovsky’s first feature, and you can see where he really starts to explore the long take without actually having painfully long takes. That said, there are some killer transitions from one scene to the next (most especially coming in and out of the dream sequences), which is another trend that he continued throughout the rest of his career. Each scene flows nicely into the next, and this is one of his most easily digestible feature films for people who view movies as entertainment rather than art.
    Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films
    4. Solyaris (1972) (Solaris)

    This is the film that everyone knows, probably because of the remake starring George Clooney, but this one is done Tarkovsky-style. The biggest benefit to doing it Tarkovsky-style is that the long takes and awkward silences make everything so much creepier. Especially considering we’re following the story but not really sure what the "fog-goo" is doing until the second half of the film (and even then it’s really up to the viewer’s personal conclusions).
    Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films
    3. Offret (1986) (The Sacrifice)

    As much as I actually do "get" Tarkovsky and appreciate his work, most of his movies are difficult for me to watch. I guess I’m plagued by the Y generation’s short attention span. In any case, if you want the epitome of long takes, this is the only film you need see. Consequently the film feels more like a stage play than a film at times. That said, even though each take is somewhere between 3-5 minutes long, the cuts all make sense, and the scene transitions are brilliant. Anyway, this is a film that I need to spend more time with, because for many it is a "life-changing" film. But, it’s only life changing if you can muster up the patience to watch it all the way through.
    Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films
    2. Andrey Rublyov (1966)

    For Tarkovsky fans, this film is the favourite. Everyone goes on and on about how "this is the best film that’s ever been made!" Well, editing-wise, it’s pretty darn awesome; it includes both of Tarkovsky’s signature moves. My favourite aspect is how he manages to tie in scenes together by transitioning in cool ways. For example, after the attack in the woods there’s a cut to a blank wall that is splattered with paint (similar to blood...). It sounds like a clich? move, but I don’t think too many people were cutting with such purpose like this when he made this film. It has since become a clich?, thanks to Tarkovsky. All that said, for me, the time span of the long takes make it difficult for me to sit still.
    Top 5 Edited Andrei Tarkovsky Films
    1. Stalker (1979)

    Ok, I confess that I’m a little biased to this one, because this is one of my favourite films of all time (it’s on my personal top 5 favs!). Before you ream me for not putting Andrey Rublyov at number one hear my story. I first saw Stalker a couple of years ago at the Cinematheque Ontario because my Film History professor required that we see a minimum of three films there per semester and write reports on them. I used the closed-eyes-with-finger-in-the-phone-book technique on the programme, and came out with this as one of my three. Not knowing what to expect, I go to the screening and the first thing I see is an incredible sepia image. The mixture of the image quality and the length of all the takes put me into a trance that I have never experienced before and haven’t been able to forget since. Watching it again, now, the movie is even better. Each cut is purposeful (as usual) and the viewer is hypnotically sucked into this world that Tarkovsky created. The takes are long enough to be interesting and draw you in, but not so long that you’re squirming for the next cut. It is the perfect balance between pace and content in cutting, image, and story. On top of that, the philosophical and spiritual content is mind blowing. If you’re ready for it...

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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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