For the second year in a row, Michael Kunkes and Editors Guild Magazine polled recent Oscar-winning and -nominated guild members, along with a sampling of film critics, to gauge the prevailing award-winds in the three catagories of guild achievement recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Best Achievement in Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. My free-form thoughts:
“The Academy Awards for Sound and Sound Editing are seemingly frequently linked to brawny and/or fantastic movies — adventures that unfold in clamorous fashion, or at least require a handful of discrete tracks — while Film Editing Oscars are inextricably linked to Best Picture nominees. And there’s usually laudable work found therein; after all, the editing is a big part of the success of those films, commercially and critically. So while I think The Dark Knight can be justly lauded for its evocation of urban terror and lingering menace, other films, like Gus Van Sant’s Milk and Zhang Ke Jia’s gorgeously pieced together Still Life, also located telling visual rhythms and quieter aural palettes that no less summoned specific time and place.For the full, fully worthwhile read, including the thoughts of the estimable Myron Meisel and Wade Major, click here.
To me, Slumdog Millionaire was mad and invigorating, on all levels of editing and mixing, down to the creative use of subtitles. A bit off the beaten path, though, Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married made a big impression on me. With its source music and at once casual and unnervingly intimate style, the movie conjures up — in refreshing ways — the tension and jocularity, joy and anxiety of large-scale familial gatherings. Similarly affecting was the sound and picture editing in Charlie Kaufman‘s Synecdoche, New York, which was integral in the creation of a world in which Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character manufactures an entire cityscape in an abandoned hangar, even as he ages and finds himself plagued by an undisclosed health crisis. Both of these films were, if you’ll excuse the invention of a word, grand tapestral efforts, which is to say thoughtful, carefully plotted affairs serving perhaps more esoteric masters.”