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Entries in editing (37)

Friday
Jan022015

The Editor's Guild Chooses...

The ACE "Eddie" nominations have been announced and though you can't glean everything from the American Cinema Editors guild's choices -- Oscar has only five nominees for best film editing and the Eddies have 17 divvied up into four separate subcategories of features -- some reveals are happening.

The first reveal is that the editors have only just begun to watch the movies of 2014 since almost every serious awards hopeful that just came out is accounted for (save, oddly, Selma & A Most Violent Year). Yes, even  Into the Woods and Inherent Vice, which are two of the surprises. On the dramatic American Sniper and Nightcrawler are the surprises. The latter in particular really seems to be gathering momentum in these final weeks making my Gyllenhaal actor prediction, which I so worried was wishful thinking, feel like a safer than expected call.

FEATURE FILMS

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
"American Sniper" (Joel Cox, ACE & Gary Roach, ACE)
"Boyhood" (Sandra Adair, ACE)
"Gone Girl" (Kirk Baxter, ACE)
"The Imitation Game" (William Goldenberg, ACE)
"Nightcrawler" (John Gilroy, ACE)
"Whiplash" (Tom Cross, ACE)

One might include Gone Girl among the surprises, given that it's on the Best Picture bubble, except to note that whoever is editing for David Fincher has a good chance of collecting trophies. That's how it works and not undeservedly; his films are always gripping and tight even when they're long and a lot of that has to do with the editing rhthyms. Of these nominees I think the safest for Oscar nods are Boyhood, The Imitation Game and Whiplash

More nominees and commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec062014

Team FYC: Citizenfour for Editing

Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, or Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Glenn on Citizenfour.

Only one documentary has ever been nominated for an editing Oscar, which is actually rather shocking given the pure logistics of the craft. How much footage of various and how many points of view they have to juggle, not to mention how quickly the sands of reportage can shift in a film that doesn't have a clear start and finish. That one film was Steve James' Hoop Dreams, which followed the schooling and personal lives of two aspiring professional basketball players. It was one of the first documentaries I recall being truly gobsmacked by, flawed by the fact that they turned 250 hours of raw footage into a 170-minute film that just worked. It made me look at documentaries and the art of editing differently.

Controversially denied the documentary Oscar that almost everybody thought he deserved in 1994, Steve James is in heavy (some may say unbeatable) contention 20 years later for Life Itself about the life of Roger Ebert, Hoop Dreams' biggest critical champion. Surely the irony isn't lost on James that his biggest competitor is Laura Poitras' Citizenfour, a compelling, nerve-wracking doc experience that charts the growing scandal of the American government's NSA spying network and its whistleblower, Edward Snowden. It would be some sort of twisted logic if Life Itself trumps it in the documentary category.

While I am not a fan of Life Itself, even its most ardent supporters would surely agree that one area in which Poitras' box-office hit has its star-studded competitor easily trumped is in the editing room. It was the mission of editor Mathilde Bonnefoy to collate and compile hours upon hours of research, investigation, news footage, and, of course, the film's centerpiece Snowden interview into a tight 114 minutes. It's a work of art to see Bonnefoy and Poitras so expertly know when to show us glimpses of Snowden's rapidly claustrophobic world (the hair gel sequence!) and when to pull back and reveal the bigger picture. When to see the story from the world's POV and when to give audiences the intimate portrait that allows the film its unique selling point.

Citizenfour is not exactly an unbiased picture; Poitras was specifically chosen by Snowden to tell the story of the NSA. Yet it's a miraculous feat of the craft that allows so many angles to be shown whilst letting a breaking story unfold as it happens. Bonnefoy ought to be a nominee alongside the prestige period dramas and Hollywood action movies that the Academy so frequently nominate.

Related
Film Experience Podcast | Documentary shortlist | Glenn's review

Other FYCs
Makeup and Hair, Only Lovers Left AliveBest Actor, Locke | Supporting Actress, Gone Girl | Visual FX, Under the Skin | Cinematography, The Homesman | Outstanding Ensembles | Screenplay, The Babadook |  Original ScoreThe Immigrant 

Monday
May192014

Oscar Predictions & Curiousities : Visuals & Score

I haven't forgotten about the Oscar charts. This first installment is the most time-consuming is all, as it sets the templates up for an entire years worth of handwringing and hiearchy juggling. With this latest update we only have the "big eight" categories left to do (minus actor & supporting actress which we've already surveyed). But here are a few thoughts on new charts that are up...

WarDaddy's (Brad Pitt) team in "Fury". The film is scored by Oscar-winner Steven Price

SCORE
I perhaps overstate the music branch's love for their favorite sons each year. It's not that that love isn't evident each year (stop to consider how many composers, for example, have 8 or more nominations and how rare that is in many other fields) it's that Hollywood's favorite composers are quite prolific so, John Williams & Alexandre Desplat aside (who never miss for a nomination)  aside, there's no guarantee that any of them will win traction since all of their rivals are also in the mix each year.

A few things to be curious about in 2014:

• Steven Price (Gravity) just won the Oscar on his first nomination so can he become a favorite? If so he's scoring Fury, the WW II tank drama with Brad Pitt in the lead this year. 
• Which Desplat score will they go for since they always have (at least) a few choices: Grand Budapest Hotel, Unbroken, or Godzilla? Or all three. Heh.
• It's been awhile since James Newton Howard (Maleficent) or Danny Elfman (Big Eyes) were in the mix. This year?
• Will Thomas Newman (Get On Up, The Judge) ever win the statue? He's the most nominated working composer who has never won with 12 failed attempts

CINEMATOGRAPHY
I would've given them their whole post but I can't even talk about this today. *sniffle* Gordon B Willis (RIP) 

Maleficent wonders which fairy tale Oscar wants to hear

COSTUME
The internet did a good job of spreading the fun factoid I once shared that Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods) and Sandy Powell (Carol) don't win the costuming Oscar unless the other one is nominated. So we'll have to look elsewhere for fun trivia this year. A few things I'm curious about this year:

• Milena Canonero is back! The three time Oscar winner  did wonderful work on Grand Budapest Hotel. Oscar tends to shun creative stylized work like that (what a shame that they passed up her instantly iconic work on The Royal Tenenbaums) when they can opt for period realism instead so that's kind of a longshot but wouldn't it be sweet?
• Will Oscar help Anna B Sheppard stretch? If they like her Maleficent costumes maybe she'll get offered movies outside the World War II genre, the box that Hollywood likes to keep her in (She also costumed Fury this year.
• Which of the rising crop of costume design stars is going to make it to an Oscar nomination first: Jane Petrie (Suffragette - I have it for 2015 but maybe it'll  be released this year), Kurt & Bart (Hunger Games: Mockingjay), or Steven Noble (Two Faces of January, Theory of Everything) ?

FILM EDITING 
It's too early to talk about this category really since, more than any other category, it depends entirely on what people like for Best Picture. 

Will AMPAS finally embrace the creative achievements in Wes Anderson's filmography

PRODUCTION DESIGN
My prediction for Grand Budapest Hotel is, I'll admit instantly, wishful thinking. (But it's early, so I'm allowed a few of those). It's perplexing that the art direction branch, like the costumers, often shun cool stylization such as the kind you often see in Wes Anderson features. But I'm hoping that the production designers can't help but recognize Adam Stockhausen's extraordinary range, hopping from pre Civil War realism (12 Years a Slave won him his first nomination) to Wes Anderson's fanciful dioramas with not only ease but confidence and panache. 

A few other things to be curious about:

• Is Oscar done with the Middle Earth films (last year they had their first miss in this category) or will they want to send the Hobbit trilogy away with a 6th nomination for Dan Hennah?
• Can Maria Durjovic (The Imitation Game) finally snag a nomination? She's done great work before and been egregiously snubbed (think Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and somehow the Oscar heat from Billy Elliott and The Hours didn't rub off on her either time
• Is Dennis Gassner a contender for his second win? He won the category for the very handsome Warren Beatty picture Bugsy (1991) but he's designed several completely gorgeous, classy and showy movies since then like, oh,  The Truman Show (1998), O Brother Where Art Thou (2000), and Big Fish (2003). Will Into the Woods be received well enough to make him a frontrunner?

 

Which Oscar fates are you most curious about for this season?

 

Saturday
Apr192014

I Met Thelma Schoonmaker at the TCM Film Festival

Our coverage of the TCM's 2014 festival in Los Angeles wraps with Anne Marie on legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker

Thelma in the editing bay...

Thelma Schoonmaker is surprisingly calm. Not just calm, calming. As I sat listening to her twice at TCMFF--first at the introduction for A Matter Of Life And Death, next at an hourlong interview--I marveled at the three-time Oscar winning editor's stillness. Considering she is the preferred collaborator of Martin Scorsese, an infamously energetic director, one would think she'd need reservoirs of energy to tackle the boxing matches in Raging Bull or the tense chases in The Departed.

Schoonmaker wasn't at TCMFF to speak about herself, though...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb192014

Link Commando

Vanity Fair Bradley Cooper's commando White House trip
Theater Mania a screening of West Side Story on Sunday at 5 PM in New York. Rita Moreno will speak to the crowd. Who's going?
PopBytes Pushing Daisies might be coming back... as a musical! 
1:37:1 How often are entire Oscar nominated shortlists absent a Best Picture nominated film? Rarely. And almost always in the same category. I'll give you one guess  

Broadway World somehow I missed these images in early February from the set of Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard so maybe you did, too?
Guardian films that use both black and white and color sequences
Film School Rejects looks to Foreign Correspondent, not Rebecca (both 1940) as the prototype for Hitchcock's Hollywood films 
NYT Neil Patrick Harris prepares for his Broadway turn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
/Film Roger Deakins is not returning to the land of 007 post Skyfall for the the as yet untitled Bond 24. This is going to be a tough movie for all of them: how do you follow up that 50th anniversary behemoth?
NPR talks to Steve McQueen and the Oscar nominated editor of 12 Years a Slave about assembling the movie
MNPP Jake Gyllenhaal doubled up in Enemy, a behind the scenes look
In Contention an oral history of Reality Bites (1994) for its 20th anniversary 

Finally...  The Film Stage reminds us that Tom at the Farm, Xavier Dolan's wonderfully tense queer thriller still doesn't have US distribution but it has a new poster. Bam

I miss the days when US audiences went to the arthouse and talked about subtitled hits... *sniffle* Now people only binge-watch American television. We're a nation of shut-ins!

Saturday
Feb082014

ACE Eddie Awards: "Captain Phillips" Surprises

The Ace Eddie Award is given by Hollywood's film editor's guild. It was a very good year for music, since three of the big winners (20 Feet From Stardom, Frozen, and Behind the Candelabra) are musicals or in bed with the genre somehow. But that's not the big story.

The big surprise has to be the win for Captain Phillips which was up against both Gravity and 12 Years A Slave, the two presumed frontrunners for the Best Picture Oscar. What a tight race this year is bringing us and BEST EDITING, when it's announced on Oscar night, will not tell us who's winning Best Picture. It's oft repeated that it's nearly impossible to win Best Picture without an Editing nomination. But it's VERY possible to lose Editing and still win Best Picture. In fact, nearly half of modern Best Pictures do lose that statue...

Click to read more ...