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Entries in Glassland (3)

Tuesday
Jan052016

Interview: Nathan Nugent on Cutting those Beautiful Performances in "Room"

Nathan Nugent won an Irish Film & Television Academy statue for his first collaboration with Lenny Abrahamson. "Room" is their third film together.Editing is often referred to as "cutting," arguably a holdover word from the days where film edictors actually had to slice frames apart and then tape them back together. But cutting, figuratively, remains one their undeniable jobs, pruning away at hours and hour of footage for a given movie. It's a puzzle and a discovery as they work at assembling a single identity for a movie that has so many different identities in its unfinished form. Though the days of film editors hunched over their moviolas is over, the job's creative challenge is the same when hunched over the computer.

Moviegoers are probably quickest to note film editing in the action genre, where the speed of cutting tends to make the "invisible art" ever so slightly more visible. But it's a complicated art regardless of genre to create cohesive and rhythmic visual and narrative and performative throughlines with a series of spliced together images and multiple takes.

So we were excited to sit down with rising film editor Nathan Nugent, who has been making a name for himself in films that you might safely call 'actor's pictures.' Room is Nugent's third consecutive film with Lenny Abrahamson who he met through a film producer with whom Abrahamson went to college. As with the birth of many classic collaborations in any industry it was a matter of networking, opportunity and good timing. Or as Nathan humorously puts it.

"He had said to Lenny, 'Oh, you know, you should try Nathan. And I was available and very cheap.'"

What Richard Did (2012), Frank (2014), and Room (2015) followed in close succession. 

NATHANIEL: You've been working with Lenny Abrahamson a lot but you didn't start out in dramas. You started in documentaries. 

NATHAN NUGENT: My wish in film school was always to work in drama. But looking back, I’m glad of that -- that I took that documentary route --  because it certainly had an effect on how I see footage.

NATHANIEL: In what sense?

Nugent's answer and more on Room's beautiful acting after the jump...

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Sunday
Feb012015

Sundance Award Winners: Slow West and Earl and That Diary Girl

Michael and Nathaniel are both safely back in New York but a few more Sundance reviews are forthcoming as well as an Oscar discussion about the first possibilities for the new film year. The festival closes up tonight for another year and last night, they announced the winners. As with last year when Whiplash one both the Jury and the Audience award, one film took both again this year: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, based on the best seller by Jesse Andrews. Can we expect a similarly Oscar friendly trajectory? 

THE WINNERS

U.S. DRAMATIC

Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Michael's review coming later today. It's said to be a bit Fault in the Stars-ish young people and terminal illness only better. 

Directing Award The Witch, Robert Eggers 
Michael's rave review. A 1630s set horror film about a religious family in Salem. 

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award The Stanford Prison Experiment, Tim Talbott
Nathaniel's Review. This one is based on the infamous 1971 college psychology experiment that's inspired other movies before it.

Special Jury Award – Excellence in Cinematography Diary of a Teenage Girl, Brandon Trost
Michael's review & Nathaniel's quick take. Michael liked it a bit more but expect a lot of talk about it when it's released. With Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard, and Kristen Wiig

Special Jury Award – Excellence in Editing Dope, Lee Haugen
Nathaniel's review. The editing has crackerjack timing and is deeply commendable for the first half but why is the second hour so much less taut?  

More after the jump...

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Saturday
Jan242015

Sundance: "Glassland", a Compassionate But Bleak Mother/Son Drama

Breaking News: Someone finally gave Toni Collette something to act onscreen again. She has lines and emotions and everything. (Tammy and Hitchcock -- never forget!). But I'm jumping too far ahead since Glassland takes some time to come around to her story. When we finally get to it she all but dares you to listen with hostile self-pity in an amazing and amazingly lengthy monologue. [More...]

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