Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A Chronological Edit of Two For The Road (1967)

Stanley Donen's (dir.) and Frederic Raphael's (wr.) Two For The Road (1967), the grand-daddy of Eternal Sunshine, Memento, and Eyes Wide Shut, is a marvel of time-shifting and match-cutting. My video edits the film chronologically. The edit loses a lot from Donen's ingenious original, but it may be useful to scholars and critics, and in my experience does help certain points and patterns emerge more clearly (much as seeing Memento reordered chronologically does).

My edit 'follows the visuals' and does not attempt to correct any trailing or overlapping audio as we engineer our cut. This is the complete film but it's not polished up the way an actually released 'A Chronological TFTR'; would be (which Donen has always insisted would be deadly dull). That is, this is a 'dvd extra'/scholars' aid not a film in its own right (again along the lines of Memento's dvd bonus of chronological play). While we wait for TFTR to appear on blu-ray, perhaps my video will inspire the inclusion of such an extra on that projected disc.

The only exceptions to my 'follow the visuals' policy occur near the end of the film - a couple of quick flashbacks during David's and Joanna's final conversation are left in that conversational sequence, and the Pirandellesque sequence of shots (including the famous, Simpsons-approved(!) roundabout shot) that immediately precedes Joanna's and Mark's hopeful/resigned border-crossing denouement in the white Mercedes are also left in sequence.

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