Monday, June 6, 2011

New York City Adventures Day One: A city divided, the Joy of Film Editing

Well I have been away from this sit for a couple of days because I was in New York City visiting friends, and other things.  I took a Mega Bus at 2:30 on Thursday which was supposed to put me in Manhattan at 5:15ish but of course Manhattan traffic did not allow that so I got in at 6:30 in perfect time to meet my friend Keith for dinner in Chelsea.  Then at around I took the M and the L with him to his house in Middle Village Queens.  I have stayed at my friends place before and knew the commute would be a journey, it took us about an hour to get to his house.  Then I thought how far it actually is from where we were and thought to myself about how it can take an hour to go only a small amount of miles (go traffic).

The thing that I thought about a lot this past weekend was the different neighborhoods that exist within each burroughs.  I spent most of my time in Manhattan this past weekend, and every part of Manhattan has a different feel or vibe.  There is Chelsea which a very LGBT vibe, Greenwich Village which not only has an LGBT vibe but an indie vibe because of NYU, there is the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side where those who the most money live then Times Square with all its commercial glory that attracts the most tourists, there is also the financial district which feels like a Men in Black look a like contest because everywhere you look there are men in suits, and I could go on for hours.  Each neighborhood is patched or edited together like a quilt or a great film.  The pieces of the puzzle do not seem to fit together but they do!

Great editing is one of my favorite parts of a film.  It was the editing in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that helped make it such a well told story.  As this film starts we see Joel and Clementine as the interact on the subway and in the diner there, and after seeing this film I recognized the subtle ways the characters memories start to tell them they may have met before.  The film starts with the beginning of the end, and then starts from the beginning and lets us watch as their story unfolds.   Going through Joel's mind as he erases Clementine is so well edited, the way things disappear is just haunting.
scene from 500 days of summer
500 Days of Summer is another "love story" with great editing.  The film takes on the journey the 500 days of the Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt) dealing with his relationship with Summer (Zooey Deschanel).  This film is also not told in a linear style but with a jump in dates showing the audience the highs and lows of this relationship.

There is obviously great editing that does not use this technique, but this style has helped piece together films in a very unique way.  Manhattan is such a unique place there are so many different cultures, people, places, and things that are on this island, and yes there is a division and certain people usually stay within certain neighborhoods, but at the end of the of the day the people on that island all call themselves New Yorkers.  The patchwork of those neighborhoods creates one of the most vibrant cities in the the world.

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