GUILLEMOT, AGNÈS

Agnès Guillemot

1931 – 2005

Agnès Guillemot was renowned for her collaboration with the Nouvelle Vague directors, having worked on numerous films with both Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.
She edited sixteen films for Godard, beginning with Une femme est une femme, followed by Contempt, Alphaville, Bande à part , Masculin Féminin, Vivre Sa Vie, Weekend, etc. In some cases, she was the sole editor; on others, she worked either with Françoise Collin, Lila Lakshmanan, Dahlia Ezove, Lila Herman, Marguerite Renoir, or Delphine Desfons.
During that same period, Guillemot edited four films for Truffaut, including L’enfant sauvage/The Wild Child and Baisers volés/Stolen Kisses.
In the late 1970’s she edited five films for Jean-Charles Tacchella, including Cousin cousine and Il y a longtemps que je t’aime.
In the 1990’s she was the editor of three films for Catherine Breillat (Sale comme un ange/Dirty Like an Angel, Romance and Parfait amour!/Perfect Love.)
Guillemot also edited films for several other women directors, including Nicole Garcia, Catherine Corsini, Francesca Comencini and Paula Delsol.

“Editing has one marvelous thing—you are alone with the material and you listen. I use many metaphors, metaphors you use when talking about painters and sculptors. They look at a landscape, a stone; the stone inspires them to do this or that. Editing is the same. The material is given by somebody else, but I listen to it afresh. I do not try to make it mine, I try to produce what it can do. The object is inside—it must be made to come out. It is exactly this—I listen, I look a long time with all my being and I extract what the director wants.”
—Agnès Guillemot interviewed in “Fine Cuts: The Art of European Film Editing” by Richard Crittenden. The full interview can be found in the Appendix.

 

BOOTH, MARGARET

Margaret Booth

1898 – 2002

Margaret Booth started editing for D.W. Griffith in 1915 and worked as an editor until 1936. She has forty-four credits, among them for several films starring Greta Garbo including Camille. She was nominated for an Oscar for Mutiny on the Bounty, for which she also has a writer’s credit. Her editing credits end early because in 1932 she became one of the most powerful figures at MGM Studios through her position as the supervising editor, a position she held until 1969. Booth controlled the dailies of every film the studio made and had the power to order reshoots. She would frequently intervene with directors, writing new scenes when she found story problems during her nightly views of their rushes. She was also, later, an associate producer at MGM.

Although she never received a competitive Oscar, the legendary Margaret Booth was the first — and up until now, one of only two — picture editors to win an Academy Honorary Award (a.k.a. the Honorary Oscar) for “exceptional contributions to the art of film editing in the motion picture industry.” It was presented at the 50th annual Academy Awards ceremony in 1978. The only other picture editor to win one was Anne V. Coates, in 2016.

“Booth is considered one of the pioneers of the “invisible edit,” and though she learned a lot with Griffith, her main influence actually came from German expressionism. She would go as far as foreseeing the auteur theory, claiming that great directors have a distinctive rhythm of their own, and it was the job of the cutter to find it and bring it out in the editing.”
Excerpt from “‘A Tedious Job’ – Women and Film Editing” by Sara Galvão at Critics Associated.