Fun Fridays – Editor (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Never Let Me Go, An Education) Barney Pilling’s Favourite Films

Hello Film Doctor friends!

Earlier this week we’ve had the pleasure of sharing an interview with the wonderful Oscar-nominated, ACE Eddie-winner, Editor Barney Pilling.  Today we’re looking at Barney’s favourite films.

The Grand Budapest Hotel - photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
The Grand Budapest Hotel – photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox


Top 10 films that all filmmakers or editors could do with seeing?

I think I prefer the edit to be invisible – if it’s really noticeably good or really noticeably bad, you’ve failed to some degree. However, having said that, I remember seeing some overtly edited films that I absolutely loved and learned a lot from! [laughs]

I certainly remember Michael Mann’s The Insider being hugely informative: what’s possible in editing and how tension can be created just by knowing what shots to put together. The rulebook kind of goes out of the window but it’s beautiful editing for tension. Stephen Mirrione’s work on Traffic – I remember watching that when I was just starting out as an Editor, looking at what you can do in an Avid, it was great. So was Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream – there was some really punchy, stylised stuff going on there and it clearly worked.

City of God is another film all Editors should take a peek at. The transitions between different times and locations in this film are a masterclass.

Anything by the Coen brothers – whenever they hit a genre, they seem to do it so well. None of their films stand out with the editing, particularly their later ones – it’s invisible – it’s part of their oeuvre. It’s just so understated that I find myself mesmerized.


You can check out Barney’s interview here. HUGE thanks to him for talking the time for this amazing insight and answers!! 


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Have a great weekend!
The Film Doctor Team
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