Friday, October 15, 2010

Hi, Sally Menke (1953-2010)

Hi, Sally Menke (1953-2010) 
  “When it comes to the editing, I write with Sally”, says Quentin Tarantino, in an interview that precedes the Hi Sally gag reel (a compilation of footage put together from film footage outtakes) from 2007′s "Death Proof." Actors and crew would turn to the camera to send a message to Sally in the editing room, to cheer her up.  Sally Menke worked as an editor with Tarantino on all his movies. Sadly the award-winning film editor Sally JoAnne Menke , who had worked on such films as "Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill" and "Jackie Brown," recently died.  While the circumstances of her untimely and tragic death are still unknown, what is known is that the world has lost a great artist, friend, colleague and family member. (Most sincere condolences to those close to her.)

  Tarantino has freely admitted that editing with Menke was like working with a writing partner, and no doubt the director’s trademark ability to hold and savor the tension of a beat well past the point when other directors would have moved on—or keep an audience riveted by his free-form pop soliloquies—flowed from Menke’s artful cutting. How else could he have gotten away with an opening scene in "Inglourious Basterds" that occupies practically a whole film reel? Or danced delightfully around the meandering diner conversation that sets up "Reservoir Dogs"? Or found such depth of feeling in Robert Forster’s stoic, steady smile in "Jackie Brown"? Arguably, Samuel L. Jackson owes much of his reputation and his career to Menke’s judicious close-up choices in "Pulp Fiction".

In 2009, Menke talked extensively about her working relationship with Quentin, in an interview that can be read here. Click here to check out her IMDB page and marvel at the body of her work.  Below are two of the above mentioned gag reels:

Watch these videos now:
(WARNING: Some scenes are not appropriate for all ages and contain course language, and/or extreme violence)

Hi, Sally!


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