The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

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The Conversations is a treasure, essential for any lover or student of film, and a rare, intimate glimpse into the worlds of two accomplished artists who share a great passion for film and storytelling, and whose knowledge and love of the crafts of writing and film shine through.

It was on the set of the movie adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning novel, The English Patient, that Michael Ondaatje met the master film and sound editor Walter Murch, and the two began a remarkable personal conversation about the making of films and books in our time that continued over two years. From those conversations stemmed this enlightened, affectionate book -- a mine of wonderful, surprising observations and information about editing, writing and literature, music and sound, the I-Ching, dreams, art and history.

The Conversations is filled with stories about how some of the most important movies of the last thirty years were made and about the people who brought them to the screen. It traces the artistic growth of Murch, as well as his friends and contemporaries -- including directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Fred Zinneman and Anthony Minghella -- from the creation of the independent, anti-Hollywood Zoetrope by a handful of brilliant, bearded young men to the recent triumph of Apocalypse Now Redux.

Among the films Murch has worked on are American Graffiti, The Conversation, the remake of A Touch of Evil, Julia, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather (all three), The Talented Mr. Ripley, and The English Patient.

“Walter Murch is a true oddity in Hollywood. A genuine intellectual and renaissance man who appears wise and private at the centre of various temporary storms to do with film making and his whole generation of filmmakers. He knows, probably, where a lot of the bodies are buried.”

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From the Back Cover:

As the subject of Michael Ondaatje’s offbeat, exhilarating new book, [Walter Murch] makes poetry out of an arcane, invisible craft.... Readers with even a passing interest in the movies should find many pleasures here.... The Conversations should be required reading for every aspiring writer -- and anyone else involved in learning to shape a work of art. -- Quill & Quire
From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author:

Michael Ondaatje is the author of four previous novels, a memoir, and eleven books of poetry. His most recent novel, Anil’s Ghost, won the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, the Prix Medicis, and the Irish Times Literature Prize. Born in Sri Lanka, he came to Canada in 1963 and apart from his books has made two documentary films. He lives in Toronto.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375413865: The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

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ISBN 10:  0375413863 ISBN 13:  9780375413865
Publisher: Knopf, 2002
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9780676974744: The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

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9780747564720: The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film

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