Behind the Scenes: The Art and Craft of Cinema, Editor Curtiss Clayton
June 20, 2012 - June 22, 2012
Film editing is the slyest craft. In accordance with the traditional approach, the best editing is the least visible. The cinematic world before our eyes should appear organic, stitched from a visual language we mistake for our own. Piecing together disparate shots, the editor creates a seamless whole with subtle shifts in pacing and mood that call attention to anything but themselves. As a consequence, the most effective editing is self-effacing. To highlight this overlooked art, we’ve called upon Curtiss Clayton, an editor best known for his work on character-driven independent features, especially those of Gus Van Sant. Among his notable accomplishments are Drugstore Cowboy, The Glass Shield, Buffalo ’66, Brokedown Palace, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and, most recently, Henry’s Crime. Clayton will share with us the subtleties of an editor’s working method and how any given film holds within it an infinite number of recombinant possibilities—what we see in a consummate film is its most elegant and expressive final form. How you arrive at that decisive form while synthesizing the contributions of the director, the cinematographer, and the sound and production teams is at the very crux of that collective effort we call cinema.
Curtiss Clayton takes us behind the scenes of the editor’s art on Wednesday, June 20, and follows up with a Friday screening of his directorial debut, Rick (2003), as well as a very special work-in-progress screening of his newest editing effort, Carter’s Maladies (2012), starring James Franco. On Thursday, June 21, the San Francisco Film Society will host a master class with Clayton.
Steve Seid, Video Curator
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
7:00 p.m. Curtiss Clayton on Film Editing, followed by To Die For
Curtiss Clayton in person. In this special lecture, editor Curtiss Clayton takes us behind the scenes of the art and craft of film editing, illustrated with sequences from Gus Van Sant’s To Die For (1995), starring Nicole Kidman and Matt Dillon. Followed by a complete screening of To Die For, beginning at about 8:30. (103 mins plus lecture)
Friday, June 22, 2012
7:00 p.m. Rick
Curtiss Clayton (U.S., 2003). Curtiss Clayton in person. Bill Pullman stars as a corporate functionary whose life is beginning to collapse in Clayton’s smart, surrealist satire. Written by Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket). (100 mins)
Friday, June 22, 2012
9:20 p.m. Maladies
Carter (U.S., 2012). Curtiss Clayton, Carter, and cinematographer Doug Chamberlain in person. Join us for this special work-in-progress screening of the new James Franco film, involving a successful actor who retires at a young age due to a mental illness. Edited by Curtiss Clayton. (100 mins)
Behind the Scenes is a collaboration between BAM/PFA and the San Francisco Film Society. Major support for Behind the Scenes is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The program is also made possible in part by the continued contributions of the BAM/PFA Trustees.