Monday, February 22, 2010


I think when we do an Oscar preview I'll have our editor friend Jawn come in and explain what a good Film Editor actually does. Until then, let's let a young John Travolta present my nominees for Best Film Editing and pretend we understand!


- Chris Innis and Bob Murawski for The Hurt Locker
It's hard to recall an action movie this decade with so much tension, and I think tension is an achievement that can at least partially be credited to sharp, patient editing.

- Mark Jakubowicz and Fernando Villena for Crank: High Voltage
I don't know for a fact that Crank has more cuts than any other 2009 movie, but it sure seems like it. Neveldine/Taylor's mission of maximum visceral impact relies a lot on sudden, unexpected but meaningful ("WTF" is a meaning) edits.

- Sally Menke for Inglourious Basterds
Quentin's trusty editor again does a great job both in ramping up both the tension (the opening, the dessert scene, the bar scene) and the comedy (any scene with the Basterds and their victims). It's to her and the films credit that none of the scenes I used as examples of tension are free of comedy, and vice-versa.

- Joe Walker for Hunger
The film has three sections, all edited completely differently (rapid images of violence and squalor, a long, one-shot conversation, and juxtaposition of nature and a man dying) and successfully.

- Ti West for The House of the Devil
Ti West wrote, directed, and edited this 80s throwback, and the combination of slow dread, unexpected introductions ("are you the babysitter?"), and violent climax (not as good as the rest of the movie, but that was always going to be impossible) make this exquisitely-paced film an easy candidate for our editing prize.

At the risk of being like AMPAS and confusing "Best" with "Most" in a technical category, I'm giving the award to Misters Jakubowicz and Villena for Crank: High Voltage. "ADD," "MTV," and "short attention span" have been complaints about action movies for decades now, but no one has owned those things with nearly this much flair and insanity. It's an Achievement in Editing indeed.

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