"It seems very pretty," she said, "but it's rather hard to understand."
Have been reading your pieces Jai Arjun. Way to go... Proud of You.-Pavan Choudary+91 98100 75120
Kept expecting you to go back and address AB's Raavan comment by the end of the piece, although I guess the original review (and your, ahem, one line response) deals with the movie well enough. Also, some of that (admittedly fully justified) Strangelove praise should go to Anthony Harvey, no?
Rohan: the reason I didn't mention Harvey was because the idea to play around with Scott's scenes was Kubrick's, and what followed in the editing room was mainly a carrying out of that scheme. But of course, Harvey did play an important part in the process.
Very interesting piece, Jai. I've always felt that editors are not given the bhaav they deserve when indeed, the pacing and final perspective of a movie is determined by their snips. Interesting, that bit about JBDY. I went back to look at the scene again - and there are 3-4 closeups of Satish Shah,but the bulk of the scene features both Om Puri and SS, not a monologue by Om, so did Saluja alter the scene that much?
Radhika: these things also depend on how much footage has been shot, what angles and options are available to the editor, etc. (Some directors were famous for being able to construct the film in their mind, so to speak - so they shot minimal footage and left the editors with very little choice of how to assemble a scene.)Om's monologue wasn't intended to be a scene where the camera would remain trained on his face from beginning to end, like Amitabh talking to his mirror reflection. But since all the speaking is being done by Om anyway, the original idea was for the scene to concentrate on him and to treat the corpse as an inanimate object. The solo "reaction shots" of Satish Shah were Saluja's contribution. Also consider that she didn't just come in as the editor after the film was shot - she was present on every day of the actual shooting, handling continuity, giving suggestions for shot-taking, etc. She probably had a hand in getting those shots taken in the first place.
Kuleshov's experiment seems fascinating. Would love to see it used in some movie that I watch.
Thanks Jai, for the explanation. I've read that Saluja was considered the most brilliant editor of her time. Didn't she do Mishra's Hazaaron Khwaishein - I think she passed away towards the end of the film. It would take a director with high self-esteem to give an editor the creative right to visualize and alter the film dramatically, wouldn't it? I suppose the other kind you mentioned, who keep minimal footage are more control-freaky and don't allow for the possibility of an altered point of view as the film comes into being.
Btw, just read your hilarious piece on Moti the wonder dog. If you read the comments below the youtube song, you'll see that a lot of viewers found it equally "heart touching" so you needn't feel sheepish when you sob over it, heh!
Don't know a great deal about the making of films. But I'm inclined to think that a decisive director should leave very little for an editor to play with.I wonder if editors had much of a role in movies directed by the likes of Hitchcock who used to conceive every detail visually before even starting to shoot it.In the JBDY example you gave, I guess the editor's discretion was called on because the director was not sure about the camera angles while shooting that particular scene and hence ended up shooting it from two different angles. Hence, the choice for the editor. Correct me if I've misunderstood something.In general, I think a highly discretionary editor is not a good thing for a film since his editing might conflict with the director's technical sensibility and thematic vision. An obvious example of editing ruining a masterpiece is Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, though we can never be sure about the extent to which Robert Wise's editing hurt the film.
Shrikanth, Radhika: Jaane bhi do Yaaro was in many ways a confused film, with no single overriding sensibility that determined how it went. There was a lot of trial and error, a lot of last-minute improvising, and it isn't fair to compare the way this film was made with how the great directors operate. In general, I think a highly discretionary editor is not a good thing for a film since his editing might conflict with the director's technical sensibility and thematic vision.Shrikanth: this would probably be the case when we're talking about a director who has a distinct creative vision of his own. But those are relatively rare cases. When I spoke with Sudhir Mishra, he pointed out that a skilled and conscientious editor has to work with what the material tells her, not with what the director’s (or anyone else's) intentions for the film were. I imagine that sort of thing often happens with films made by inexperienced directors.
Didn't she do Mishra's Hazaaron Khwaishein - I think she passed away towards the end of the film. Radhika: no, she died before that was made. Sudhir Mishra wrote in a tribute piece on her (in a monograph produced by GraFTII) that "she was always there, nestled right inside my head, telling me exactly what to do". But she edited - and in many cases salvaged - some of the most interesting Hindi films made in the 1980s, like Party, Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho, Ardh Satya and Yeh Woh Manzil Toh Nahin. In addition to all of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's work up to 2001.
Jai, when's your study of JBDY coming out? I read this article recently which had Sudhir Mishra saying that he believed Kundan Shah had had a different view of the movie - a more delicate comedy, he said - but the final piece was much broader because not everyone got that world-view. I remember finding the Mahabharat scene hilarious in a way that I did not find the telephone scene with its Spy vs Spy effect, or the Cake throwing scene - which I found much more slapstick. Maybe because of the contextual jokes in the Mahabharat scene? Anyway, I thought it was insightful that the product became so much more different from the conception and I wonder if it was also because they were all college classmates - it must've have been like a gigantic college project - and I wonder how much hierarchy can exist in a gang like that, which would allow the director to assert his personality.
Thanks for the info about Renu Saluja, Jai. Any idea how I can go about accessing that monograph on her?
when's your study of JBDY coming out?Radhika: your guess is as good as mine. I was finished with the bloody thing in November last year but the publishing delays have been ridiculous and demoralising. Am told it will be out by October, but who knows. Right now it feels like the researching and writing happened in another lifetime and the book would be very different if I wrote it again today.Anyway, I thought it was insightful that the product became so much more different from the conceptionA large part of my book - the first 40 percent perhaps - is about the writing of the script and how it changed over time. Kundan himself repeatedly says that the final JBDY was a shadow of the film he had had in mind.
Any idea how I can go about accessing that monograph on her?Don't think it will be available in stores or online, but the lady who helped put it together for FTII is a friend - I can get a copy from her. Are you in India?
>I can get a copy from her. Are you in India?Thanks Jai - I'll contact you on email