Synopsis by Nathan Southern
A protracted conversation with legendary Hollywood film editor Walter Murch -- the post-production genius who cut such masterpieces as The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Julia, and who designed the sound on such seminal works as The Conversation and The Godfather Part II -- forms the basis of this illuminating, feature-length documentary co-directed by Edie Ichioka and David Ichioka. From his post at the editing table, Murch actually reinvented semiotics to such a degree that several film scholars have authored tomes on his techniques. The Ichiokas (one a former assistant editor to Murch) sit down with the eponymous craftsman and allow him to carry the conversation wherever he chooses. The discussion covers such intriguing topics as his 1997-1998 restoration work on Orson Welles' Touch of Evil; the logic behind his unusual practice of standing while he cuts, in the manner of an orchestra conductor or a surgeon; his notions about why humans blink and how this impacts the cinematic viewing experience; the concept of cinema as a "mass art"; and the strange, hidden parallels that Murch perceives between editing and culinary preparation -- not to mention his many experiences on individual pictures, under the aegis of such giants as Coppola, Lucas, and Kaufman. Throughout, the Ichiokas interpolate many clips from pictures that Murch has worked on, illustrating and underscoring the concepts he discusses.