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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
    • Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Terminator movie
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Scenes in a Terminator movie

      August 31, 2011, 12:49 pm
      I can't think of anything more scary than having a robot from the future relentlessly hunt you down because of something you haven't done yet (and didn't even know you were planning to do). Well, maybe I can think of a couple scarier things, but really, robo-Schwarzenegger is pretty high up there!

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    • Top 5 Unknown Underwater Horrors of the Deep
      EDITING

      Top 5 Unknown Underwater Horrors of the Deep

      August 10, 2011, 2:23 pm
      Being thousands of feet underwater is scary enough without stumbling upon some kind of creature that no one has ever seen before, but when the team does find that "thing" then it's up to the editor to carry not only the story, but the suspense, the action, and the fear.

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    • Top 5 Edited Steve Martin Comedies
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Steve Martin Comedies

      July 27, 2011, 12:08 pm
      Well excUUUUUUUuuuse ME! Steve Martin has been most commonly known to do comedy, and as I've explained before, comedy has everything to do with timing. In film, the editing plays an integral part in that timing.

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    • Top 5 Things to do While the Footage Renders
      EDITING

      Top 5 Things to do While the Footage Renders

      July 6, 2011, 11:53 am
      Rendering is always one of those things that create dead time during a project. This is especially true for the independent freelancer with the last generation of equipment. But there's no reason to let that time go to waste!

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    • Top 5 Pieces in the Original Fantasia
      EDITING

      Top 5 Pieces in the Original Fantasia

      June 22, 2011, 1:44 pm
      As a composer as well as an editor myself, I've always found that there seemed to be a direct correlation to the construction of music to the art of editing. The pictures to the editor are like the notes to the composer. This is exceptionally illustrated with animation. Fantasia is a great example.

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    • Top 5 Edited Tortured Visual Artist Biopics
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Tortured Visual Artist Biopics

      June 8, 2011, 2:54 pm
      I've heard many times from many a wise person that the greatest artists were also the most insane or tortured. Looking at history, this is arguably true. Unfortunately for them, of course, it's a rough life, but their ghosts can take solace in the fact that their work has moved many generations beyond them. Their lives make great stories, too.

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    • Top 5 Edited Superman Movies
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Superman Movies

      May 25, 2011, 2:05 pm
      Superman has long been the quintessential American superhero, and has been manifested in popular culture in a plethora of ways since his creation in the 1930s. My favourite moving renditions of him have to be the Fleischer cartoon series from the WWII era, but he really exploded into unprecedented iconic stature in 1978 when Hollywood came out with <i>Superman</i> and <i>Superman II</i>. I know that I certainly almost always think of Christopher Reeve the second someone mentions the name Superman.

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    • Top 5 Edited Musical Sequences in Grease
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Musical Sequences in Grease

      May 11, 2011, 12:33 pm
      One of the musical-turned-movies that has always been close to my heart is Grease— I remember growing up and watching that movie, learning all the words to the songs (which I can still sing along to), and thinking that the social dynamic in high school would basically be like that. Well, I learned that that last point wasn’t actually the case in the real world, but at least I can nail every song at a karaoke bar.

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    • Top 5 Edited Mockumentaries featuring Christopher
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Mockumentaries featuring Christopher

      April 20, 2011, 2:09 pm
      Christopher Guest and his crew of equally talented and funny friends managed to create a particular standard for a genre of film, which is difficult to pull off if you don’t know what you’re doing. I myself come into editing with a documentary background, and as anyone who does documentary knows, in some situations it can be hard to keep continuity when events are unfolding in front of the camera before the operator has time to plan. This is where the "mockumentary" has its advantages (being able to consciously fill the holes) and disadvantages (filling those holes make it less of a documentary and more of a drama). To make it still have a raw documentary feel the editor needs to have a keen understanding of the subtleties that will fake it realistically.

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    • Top 5 Musical Scenes in True Stories
      EDITING

      Top 5 Musical Scenes in True Stories

      April 6, 2011, 11:38 am
      Different genres call for different editing techniques, but sometimes movies don’t really fit any particular kind of genre and as an editor, you just kinda have to go with it. <i>True Stories</i> is one of those movies— it’s borderline comedy and musical, but it’s mostly an entertaining commentary with music. Because it’s done so well, it’s made its way to my personal top 5 movies— and while it is obviously somewhat low budget, technically speaking, the editing ultimately helps to keep it entertaining and progress the story.

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