Sally Menke, famed for editing all of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, died yesterday on a hike near the Hollywood sign, apparently due to the record breaking heat. Touchingly, the search team that discovered her body found that her dog stayed with her. As a hiker prone to heat exhaustion and ignoring it myself, I am paying heed to the nature of her death and hope you will too. And I wish to pay tribute to her.
I have quoted Menke before and by way of saluting her accomplishments, have gathered a few quotes and videos that honor her.
“…I do feel there’s an internal rhythm in every person which is reflected in your work. Somehow a painting looks like its painter. There’s an innate response to footage that I feel is very much mine. Sometimes it’s not at all what Quentin or another director wants, so I change it. I approach the footage in a detailed way, looking at mannerisms as much as I listen to the dialogue- what their body is saying.”
“I don’t do match cuts really. That’s a ridiculous thing to say – I do. But we always explore how we can propel a scene, and that’s including dialogue, without doing match cuts. Because the audience is really willing to accept a lot of discontinuity.”
“I’ve learnt so much from every film and every director – a new perspective, a greater appreciation of the art.”
“We [Tarantino and I] muse over everything for a long time. Nothing is simply connected for the sake of connecting.”
All quotes and photo from “Cutting For Quentin, An Interview with Sally Menke” by Garrett Gilchrist.
In The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing the unequalled doc on Hollywood editing, Tarantino and Menke talk about their collaboration. Start watching at six minutes in. Tarantino really lets loose.
I can’t think of too many directors that have gone as far out of their way to appreciate their female editor than Quentin Tarantino. This has got to be a huge loss for him. Here he talks about how they write the film together during editing.
How many editors get recognized on set, let alone beyond anywhere else? Here’s a light hearted tribute to her from the director, cast and crew of Inglourious Basterds, her last Tarantino movie.
So long Sally and condolences to your family, friends, and film community.