Like most people, I was oblivious to blinking until The Conversation, which was the first feature that I edited. I had the repeated, uncanny experience of watching Gene Hackman’s close-ups and deciding where to cut—He put the tape down, and now he’s thinking about what he’s going to do with the tape and … cut. Very frequently, more frequently than I would have thought, the point that I decided to cut was the point that Hackman blinked. I thought, That’s peculiar.
Some of this may be familiar territory if you’ve read Murch’s In the Blink of an Eye, but there is also new material from an interview in the forthcoming The 8 Train by Joshua Melnick.
Murch is not only a master filmmaker but also one of cinema’s great professors. He is able to boil down the most complex aspects of light, time, space and the human brain into simple, articulate terms for our benefit.
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