In the Presence of a Legend (TCMFF 2015)

As with any film festival, there are so many other things to do besides actually go to the films … surprising but true, I know 🙂

One of the things that I THANKFULLY carved out some time to attend was the one-on-one with legendary film editor, 89-year old Anne V. Coates, who has clipped films ranging from Lawrence of Arabia to Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, and most recently, Fifty Shades of Grey.


The hour-long sit down with author Cari Beauchamp provided wonderful insight into a six decade career and illuminated just how much the ability of a film to convince its audience rests on how deftly the editor weaves together hours of footage to form a cohesive and convincing story for the screen, especially when there are so many external factors at play (actor, director, producer, to name a few). I cannot imagine the adaptability required and immense pressure felt. It is a credit to her profession in general and her body of work in particular, that she has consistently produced praise-worthy results.

Coates also talked candidly about the intimate relationship an editor has with the film they are working on. Recalling in great detail her work on films such as Lawrence, Murder on the Orient Express, The Elephant Man and In the Line of Fire, it was clear to the audience the great passion and love she has for her job.

Let me conclude with a few side notes from the talk:

  1. I will never watch What about Bob? the same way again.
  2. Film or digital? I think is an easy one… film – more tactile.
  3. Over the years, there have been a couple of films involving on screen romantic pairings that proved really interesting to edit. I can only imagine….