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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 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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