Ripple and Roll

On the way to see Arcade Fire at Central Park Summerstage tonight, I strolled past Sean Connery. I was tempted to intone, in my best Gert Fröbe cackle, "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die." But Connery was looking wearied by age, and if he did pass away in the next week or so, how awful would I have felt?

Arcade Fire put on a great show. Their music is anthemic, hyper-infused with emotion, so seeing them with a choir of rabid fans is like attending a fire and brimstone sermon with some true believers. You can't help but hum, clap, wave, and head bop to their tunes. It helps that the band members look like they're having such a good time on stage. The drummers ran around in a frenzy, banging on everything with their drumsticks (one of them nearly ran through the back curtain and fell off the stage). The lead singer tried to punch a hole through the stage with his mic stand.

For their encore, Arcade Fire brought surprise guest David Bowie on stage. He was looking dapper in a white suit and matching fedora. They accompanied him on one of his old tunes, then he played guitar and sang a bit of "Wake Up". He participated in the same way earlier this week at a Fashion Week party (I linked to a recording of that yesterday), but seeing him live was still a bonus. There may have been a CD released in the past year to year and a half that I loved more than Funeral, but if there was, it's not top of mind.

On my way into the concert, a security guard told me my zoom lens was too long. No sexual innuendos, she was being literal. She gave me two choices, dump my zoom lens somewhere and pick it up after the concert, or hand over my digital camera battery. Since I had nowhere to stash my zoom lens, I neutered my SLR and handed over the battery, which she then proceeded to stick down her pants. I guess she ran out of pockets. So I wasn't able to snap any pics of Arcade Fire's stage antics, though I did end up with a very wary battery at the end of the concert.

I started my editing intensive class at The Edit Center this week. It has lived up to the "intensive" advanced billing, but I'm loving every hour. Along with improving my Final Cut Pro editing skills by leaps and bounds, I've gained a newfound appreciation for movie editors and how much impact they have on the final product you see on the big screen. Like book editors, their best work is largely transparent to audiences, most of the credit going to the director or actors, just as no all credit for books goes to the author. The only time you notice an editor is when they've missed something.

Our class field trips are mostly outings to see movies, and that's a type of field trip I can appreciate. We hit the Lower East Side to see Edge, a movie that, like The Cutting Edge (not the D.B. Sweeney/Moira Kelley hockey/figure skating flick), does for movie editors what Visions of Light did for cinematographers. Andrew Mondshein (editor, The Sixth Sense) and Christopher Tellefsen (editor, Gummo, Kids), interviewed in the movie, attended the screening and fielded questions.

Mondshein spoke of how the first few times they screened The Sixth Sense for audiences, the theatre erupted in whispers and confusion when Bruce Willis's ring hit the floor at the end of the movie. So he added in the flashbacks, to Haley Joel Osment saying "They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead." To Willis's encounters with live people, like his wife at the restaurant. Mondshein threw in just enough so audiences could connect the dots, appreciate the "Aha!", and return to enjoying the movie's conclusion.