POTPOURRI: EDITING AND ACTING — AND CAMPAIGNING

Rachel Dodes in the Wall Street Journal conducts a brief interview with Thelma Schoonmaker who has won three Academy Awards editing films of Martin Scorsese.  This is a brief, informal article; but it embodies an intriguing glimpse into what it’s like working with Scorsese.  (“The Cutting Lady,” Wall Street Journal, 12/20/13.)

Recommended Reading:  Reading Dodes’ article sent me back to Conversations with Scorsese, Richard Schickel’s interviews with the director, published by Knopf in 2011.  This is a must-read for film buffs of all stripes, whether Scorsese enthusiasts or not.  In discussing each Scorsese work (through Shutter Island) the two get into all aspects of filmmaking, including postproduction and distribution.  There are chapters at the end on actors, color, music, restoration and editing  Scorsese makes clear, in his discussion of editing, some of the ways in which Thelma Schoonmaker helps create his films.

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In the New York Times Elaine Sciolino interviews Bérénice Bejo, the sparkling actress who charmed us all in The Artist and is currently appearing in Ashgar Farhadi’s The Past.  Bejo is always interesting whether reliving days in her early career (with some surprises for  Americans) or discussing her latest film with the maker of A Separation, last year’s world-acclaimed feature.  Especially intriguing is her vivid depiction of work assigned her  —  and work it was  —  campaigning for the Oscar for her role in The Artist.  She concludes:  “In France, you don’t do anything.  You either win prizes or you don’t.  In the U.S., winning prizes is a business.”  (“Peppy Speaks!  [And Gives an Interview]”, New York Times, 12/8/13.)

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REVISITING MR. RIPLEY

Part of the coverage of Seymour Hoffman’s death on the mainstream news I watched featured a clip from The Talented Mr. Ripley.  I always admired and still do the gallery of characters created by Hoffman.  But I hope everyone watching the scene  was reminded  of how good Matt Damon is in that picture.  This uncommonly fine actor has a long list of credits and outstanding characterizations which have gone unnoticed by many critics and especially  by the Motion Picture Academy.  At least the Golden Globes are aware of his existence.

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Have you seen Touki-Bouki?

NEXT FRIDAY POST February 14, St. Valentine’s Day

Until then,
See you at the movies,
Rick

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