The signs of a good edit - Black Swan

When I was younger, after going to the cinema I would almost mentally inhabit the world I had been temporarily involved in - allthemoreso with the superhero and children's fantasy films. Not for long, just a continuation past the actual two or so hours I had been sitting in the film. When I grew a little older and the trait faded out of memory, it was easy to attribute it to multiple factors associated with getting older: watching a wider genre of films, loss of the constant imagination process that kids fill their minds with before they have to learn and retain things like French and algebra....

I bring this up because it's the same part of my brain which I identify as being in overdrive after watching Black Swan, edited by Andrew Weisblum. The film was so carefully crafted around the emotions and perspectives of Natalie Portman's character Nina, that I not only felt the triumphs and paranoia whilst watching the film - I became hyper-aware of my own movements and those around me for the first few minutes afterwards.

To me, conveying the appropriate emotions whilst skillfully telling the story is what a good edit is all about. It can't extend in the same way to all genres, the appropriate footage and story must exist in the first place.... but the editor is the one who puts it all together and creates the magic that the audience are able to take away with them.

In Black Swan, there were certain physical moments for the audience to cringe at to encourage empathy; and the fact that the storyline stayed with Nina and her experiences as she saw them for the entire film was almost certainly another helpful element in guiding the audience along in her story. But shaping the individual elements and telling the overall story was really done masterfully - or at the very least exactly to my own individual tastes.

Oh, and cinemas? Please stop raising the lights the second the first credit is on screen. I really wanted to absorb the ending for a few more seconds there.