Film Editor Christopher Rouse on The Bourne Ultimatum

Over at Film & Video, I’ve just posted my interview with Christopher Rouse, the virtuosic film editor on The Bourne Supremacy, United 93, and now The Bourne Ultimatum. He’s worked with director Paul Greengrass on three films (going on four), and man oh man, nobody makes movies more intense than these two.

Q: Have you heard the complaints from some viewers that this specific style of filmmaking — handheld camera, quick cuts — makes them physically ill?

A: Often. [Laughs.] At the end of the day it’s a big tent. There’s room for many, many styles of filmmaking. Probably my favorite filmmaker of all time is David Lean, who has a style that in many ways couldn’t be more antithetical to the way we shoot a Bourne film. I’ve had people say to me, “Gosh, I watched your film from the third row of the theater, and I was getting physically ill.” Fair enough. Personally, I wouldn’t watch any film from the third row of a theater, and if I were to watch Lawrence of Arabia from the third row of a theater I’d probably get physically ill myself. It’s an aggressive style, so it’s going to attract more attention, but I think it’s a style that absolutely supports the film and the narrative. If you like it, great. And if you don’t, that’s fine too.

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