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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Editing is an often invisible part of the filmmaking process; the audience tends not to be aware how the editor's eye has crafted a film. Ondaatje reveals some of its mystery through several conversations with Murch, the editor of The Conversation, The English Patient, and Apocalypse Now and Redux. In the late 1960s, Murch, along with Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas (who describes Murch as "strange like me"), helped form Zoetrope, the independent company where films like THX 1138 and The Godfather were born. Murch finds his own profession difficult to accurately describe, comparing quirks in actor dialogue to signs in the wilderness that only a hunter might detect. Ondaatje and Murch walk the reader through key scenes from several films, providing a glimpse into the editing process; the origins of his masterful re-edit of Orson Wells' Touch of Evil are particularly fascinating (especially for film buffs). These conversations allow readers a peek behind the curtain to reveal a man as mysterious as his art. Carlos Orellana
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Absolutely wonderful book. Every film student should read this. If you are thrilled every time you see The Godfather, The Conversation, The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Read morePublished 5 months ago by A. Silver
This is a wonderful book -- five stars for insight, not only about movie editing but about how a brilliant craftsman uses his broader knowledge to enhance his work. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Steve
When you've got a great writer, Michael Ondaatje, and a compelling topic, movies, it's hard to miss. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Linda Leslie Johnson
Thanks to Michael Ondaatje and God bless his interlocutor) This book'd be very useful for those who works as an editor. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Katerina
Pricey and kinda boring. As an editor, I expected to enjoy this more.Published 18 months ago by Jamie
Of all the books I have ordered about film, film making, cameras, story telling, etc, etc this one was the best. I was sad when I finished. Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by BdaSailor
both books from walter murch are great purchases, as a complement of in the blink of an eye will need to be in every film studentPublished on April 19, 2013 by Esteban Alzate
I'll be brief..
The book is half Walter Murch insights and half another guy (forget his name but a book writer's insight) - the book writer guy more prompts Walter into... Read more
I highly recommend this book to photographers, filmmakers, and any other creative people where editing is an essential part of the creative process. Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by Sylvia de Swaan