02/10/2010

R.I.P

1953 - 2010

In case you haven't noticed, this week has been pretty awful for Hollywood deaths. Arthur Penn, Gloria Stuart and as previously mentioned, Tony Curtis have all passed away. Although each is a great loss to the world of film, I feel the need to say something about Sally Menke.

She is mostly known for her collaboration with Quentin Tarantino from Reservoir Dogs to Inglourious Basterds and it should be noted that she is probably just as responsible for his signature style as he is. Film editors are rarely known by the majority of the movie-going public but it's Menke who could restrain Tarantino to make his look clean, effective but never dull. 

I was in the same room as QT a few years back and he is really a force of nature. He is an over-excitable movie buff with an encyclopeadic knowledge that results in an overflow of ideas. He talks a mile a minute and regularly jumps from subject to subject without even taking a breath. He's become known for his love of references which has over-saturated his work in recent years, so can you imagine what his films would be like if their relationship never took off? It's Menke's swift hand and talent as an editor that allowed her to reign in Tarantino whilst still making it unmistakebly him.

Her collaboration with him is right up there with the other great male filmmaker/female editor collaboration of our time, which is of course, Scorsese and Schoonmaker. She was a very talented woman whose work will be greatly missed.