April 20, 2010

Film Editor Extraordinaire Dede Allen

The NY Times noted the passing yesterday of film editor Dede Allen.  She cut such notable films as "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Dog Day Afternoon".  I am esepcially a fan of "Dog Day" which, in and of itself, is a self-contained master class in how to edit suspense.  It is a thrilling story which remains so even after multiple viewings due to the remarkable craft of Ms. Allen.

Her obit states that she started as a sound editor way back during the studio era on films like the landmark "Citizen Kane".  She received credit for editing more than 20 films during her career and worked into the new century.  One of my favorite, recent films she did was the undrerrated screwball comedy "Wonder Boys" that came out in 2000.  It's a delightful character study, starring Robert Downey Jr. at the height of his crazy years and Michael Douglas in possibly his best and most natural performance.  

Directors often get all the credit when it comes to filmmaking...but not with Ms. Allen.  The directors she worked with universally praised her genius and her devotion to a career that made for a remarkable body of work.  Anyway, if you're looking for something to add to your Netflix queue, just type her name into IMDB and you'll find more than a few cinematic gems.