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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 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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