In the Blink of an Eye is celebrated editor Walter Murch’s vivid, multifaceted, thought-provoking essay of film editing. Starting with what might seem to be the most basic editing question—Why do cuts work?—he treats the reader to a marvelous ‘ride’ through the esthetics and practical concerns of cutting film. Along the way, he offers his insights on such subjects as continuity and discontinuity in editing, dreaming, and real life; the criteria of a good cut; and the blink of an eye as both an analog to and an emotional cue for the cut. New to this second edition is Murch’s lengthy meditation on the current state of digital editing.
Walter Murch has been honored by both British and American Motion Picture Academies for his picture editing and sound mixing. In 1997, Murch received an unprecedented double Oscar for both film editing and sound mixing on The English Patient (1996, dir. A. Minghella), as well as the British Academy Award for best editing. Seventeen years earlier, he received an Oscar for best sound for Apocalypse Now (1979, dir. F. Coppola), as well as British and American Academy nominations for his picture editing on the same film. He also won a double British Academy Award for his film editing and sound mixing on The Conversation (1974, dir. F. Coppola), was nominated by both academies for best film editing for Julia (1977, dir. F. Zinnemann), and in 1991 received two Oscar nominations for Best Film Editing for the films Ghost (dir. J. Zucker) and The Godfather, Part III (dir. F. Coppola).
Among Murch’s other picture editing credits are for The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988, dir. P. Kaufman), House of Cards (1993, dir. Michael Lessac), Romeo is Bleeding (1994, dir. P. Medak), First Knight (1995, dir. J. Zucker), and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, dir. A. Minghella).
“An incredibly lucid trek into the formidable craft of film editing, which in my opinion is the core of the cinematic art form. Walter Murch’s depth of insight into this subject is astonishing, and the book is a must for anyone who is interested in truly understanding the filmmaking process.”
“The first time I saw Murch he was asleep on his KEM, having worked all night on The Conversation. He’s the only editor I know who actually sleeps with his films. In fact, Murch has a love affair with every film he’s involved with. In the Blink of an Eye is his chronicle of passions—it’s where he finally tells us some of the intimate details of these affairs. Not for those who cannot love film.”
“This small book contains a wealth of first-hand knowledge about the mysteries of giving birth to a film. I think it is of immense value to professionals and film buffs alike.”