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Author Topic: RIP Sidney Lumet  (Read 3665 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2017, 02:47:25 AM »

A Lumet movie I like very much (I give it an 8.5/10) that nobody but me has mentioned on these boards is Running on Empty (1988). DJ will say it's commie propaganda. But if you can forget the right/left political shit and just accept the basic premise a family that's wanted for a serious crime and therefore has to live under pseudonyms and be on the run the plot is great, the performances are really good. The only blemish on this movie is that Martha Plimpton is hideously ugly. She's visually vomit-inducing.
Damn good movie by a director who made a bunch of them.

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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 09:53:50 AM »

I recently finished reading Sidney Lumet's "Making Movies". Over 20 years since its publication, it's still a great read and very accessible.

While I don't entirely disagree, I do take slight issue with him regarding the following remarks spread in two parts over pages 155-7:

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"In a review of a movie that Dede Allen had edited, the critic went on about what a brilliant editor she was and how recognizable her style was. If she ever read that review, Dede would've been distressed beyond measure. She is a brilliant editor. But she prides herself on doing what the picture and director asks of her. She's proud that the movies she edited for George Roy Hill are totally different from the ones she did for Warren Beatty or that she and I have done together (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Wiz). She wants the picture, not Dede Allen, to stand out. She is selfless. She's "making the same movie...

... But at all times under terrific pressure [on Serpico], Dede's devotion to the work was what came first. And that's the Dede Allen style".

The point about the editor serving the picture is entirely correct and has been stated by many of the "brilliant" editors in the past. A striking example of this would be Tony Lawson's work on "Cross of Iron" as opposed to his work on "Barry Lyndon". However, to say that several of the best scenes in "Dog Day Afternoon" or the introduction to "Serpico" do not bear any of Dede Allen's hallmarks would be incorrect in my opinion. Back in 1975, there were very few editors who would have come up with anything resembling what Allen did on "Dog Day Afternoon" and it probably would have been a far lesser picture in many (though not necessarily all) other editors' hands.



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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 11:42:06 AM »

I remember these pages in the (great) book. It reminded me of DP Darius Khondji, who I saw presenting a screening of SE7EN a few years ago: he was exactly as jumpy on the topic and didn't want to be celebrated for his "style". He was trying to serve each movie, and the like.

I think the whole thing is just an illusion: of course these people let their very personal footprint on each movie they work on. But it's a good thing that they try not to.

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