Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Best Five Edits in Film History

Every film editor will tell you that if they did their job right, you won't notice. This is generally true except for one thing, the virtuoso edit, the edit you're SUPPOSED to notice, the edit that actually says something by simply cutting from one shot to another. Here are five of my favorites. I welcome your thoughts on further additions to The Best Edits in Film History.
2001: A Space Odyssey
This edit leaps centuries millenia and is justly famous as the best single edit ever.
Apocalypse Now
This cut from attacking helicopters to a peaceful village says it all about the war in Vietnam.
Women in Love
This cut from dead bodies at the bottom of a lake to a couple making love is profoundly sad.
In one quick shot, we find out the hero is actually a man in a mental institution who is imagining the whole movie as an escape from the fact he accidentally killed his own wife. Pretty crazy.
The Deer Hunter
After boring us to tears for more than an hour, there's finally a cut to something actually happening. Unfortunately, it's the living hell of Vietnam.


  1. not centuries, Michael, millenia....

  2. "not centuries, Michael, millenia...."

    Not millennia Anonymous, eons.

    Also, some years ago the Ho and I were watching ASO on broadcast TV. The ape throws up the bone and....and...they cut to commercial. Post commercial all of a sudden we're in space. We roared. We cried. We roared some more.