The Conversations: Walter Murch And The Art Of Film Editing

The Conversations: Walter Murch And The Art Of Film Editing

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by Michael Ondaatje
     
 

Michael Ondaatje's conversations over the period of a year with the film and sound editor Walter Murch. Their exchange reveals behind-the-scenes glimpses of the maverick group that became Zoetrope - the different working styles of the directors Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas - as well as of the directors Philip Kaufman, Anthony Minghella, and Fred Zinnemann,… See more details below

Overview

Michael Ondaatje's conversations over the period of a year with the film and sound editor Walter Murch. Their exchange reveals behind-the-scenes glimpses of the maverick group that became Zoetrope - the different working styles of the directors Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas - as well as of the directors Philip Kaufman, Anthony Minghella, and Fred Zinnemann, among others. There is inside talk on how a film is put together and how the process of editing in film compares to editing in writing. For more than thirty years, Murch has been a master craftsman at the very heart of moviemaking, a Renaissance man with interests in the worlds of science and the metaphysical - equally at ease talking about films or music, medieval architecture or quantum physics - who has worked on many of the iconic films of our time: the re-edited Touch of Evil, American Graffiti, The Godfather I-III, Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now Redux, The Conversation, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient, and The Talented Mr. Ripley, among many others.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Ask most moviegoers, "Who is Walter Murch?" and they're likely to stare uncomprehendingly. Ondaatje (The English Patient) seeks to eradicate that ignorance by providing an expert analysis of Murch's consummate film editing skills, and pointing out along the way the monumental contributions editors make to motion pictures. Murch, a three time Oscar winner and integral collaborator on such cinematic milestones as The Godfather, Julia, The English Patient and American Graffiti, attended the University of Southern California with George Lucas and bonded early on with UCLA film student Francis Ford Coppola. A relative neophyte, he worked on Coppola's The Rain People and a low-budget sci-fi picture, THX 1138, which has since become a cult classic. Murch adhered to a rule of not watching other movies while concentrating on a project of his own, calling himself a "queen bee who gets impregnated once and can lay millions of eggs afterwards." Through his eyes, and Ondaatje's remarkably insightful questions and comments, readers see how intricate the process is, and understand Murch when he says, "The editor is the only one who has time to deal with the whole jigsaw. The director simply doesn't." He also offers insightful thoughts on Orson Welles, Marlon Brando and Fred Zinnemann. Although Murch claims the actors on his films rarely know who he is, this excellent, eye-opening book done in a question-and-answer format will make readers glad Ondaatje has shown them the significant role he plays behind the scenes. Photos. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780676974744
Publisher:
Knopf Canada
Publication date:
08/19/2002
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
7.37(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.90(d)

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