Sally Mencke, the Editor who worked with Quentin Tarantino on "Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill" and "Jackie Brown" was found dead this morning after she had not returned from hiking in Griffith Park. She certainly blazed a path and the editing community and movie-goers around the world will miss her.
Ah jeez, that's awful... Tarantino is one of my favorite directors, and he has said in interviews the one person he trusted the most in his filmmaking process was Sally. This makes me sad. I like the way that basically none of Tarantino's films are ever told in a straight line, and that was her magical touch.
"but the nonlinear style of his storytelling lives and breathes by the editor's talents."
Amen to that.
I'm not as big a fan of QT, probably because I feel he over uses the standard language of on-screen violence too much for my tastes - as in story getting slow? Time to threaten, beat, shoot, or slice up someone to keep things moving. But I agree that the editing was always seamless and I NEVER had to struggle to follow the story thread or keep the characters straight.
I glided through "Inception" never having a bit of trouble in the same fashion.
I've been trying to watch NBC's "The Event" this week and it seems like every 45 seconds, there's another ham-fisted random time leap (with the obligatory big "8 hours ago" title invoked) such that after the first 15 minutes I was working WAY too hard simply to keep track of the story and nearly gave up about 4 times on the whole thing.
Perhaps it's a sop to the gamers who've been conditioned to experience "story" as a bunch of disconnected blocks that depend on one's gathering charms and weapons in order to keep some semblance of a progression happening?
But good editing ALWAYS helps the viewer suspend disbelief and simply merge into the events unfolding on the screen. And that's why it will always be as much ART as science.
That scene early on in Inglorious Basterds, where the family are hiding under the floorboards, is editing magic. The tension vibrates off the screen in every frame. On the other end of the scale, the final punch-out scene in Death Proof where the girls karate-kick Kurt Russell made me giggle like a school girl for its audaciousness ;o)