L.A. Film Critics to Honor Editor Anne V. Coates

Academy Award-winning film editor Anne V. Coates will receive the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.’s award for career achievement, the group announced on Saturday. She is the second editor to receive a lifetime honor from the L.A. critics, after the late Dede Allen in 1999.

The British-born Coates, 89, began her career splicing together religious short films for church tours — a job that she received with the help of her uncle, the film producer and entrepreneur J. Arthur Rank, who hoped that she would lose interest in the industry. Instead, she eventually became an assistant film editor at London’s Pinewood Studios.

Coates received her first editing credit on Noel Langley’s “The Pickwick Papers” (1952), a full decade before she would win the Oscar for cutting David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962). In addition to its impressive balance of imposing desert landscapes and vivid human drama (culled from some 31 miles of footage), the nearly four-hour epic contains one of the most famous “match” cuts in movie history, from a shot of Peter O’Toole blowing out a match to a majestic desert sunrise.

Coates went on to receive four more Academy Award nominations for editing Peter Glenville’s “Becket” (1964), David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man” (1980), Wolfgang Petersen’s “In the Line of Fire” (1993) and Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight” (1988). Her other credits include “Young Cassidy” (1965), “The Bofors Gun” (1968), “The Public Eye” (1972), “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974), “What About Bob?” (1991), “Chaplin” (1992), “Congo” (1995), “Striptease” (1996) and Soderbergh’s “Erin Brockovich” (2000).

Her more recent credits include “The Golden Compass” (2007), “Extraordinary Measures” (2010) and this year’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” for which she was credited alongside Lisa Gunning and Debra-Neil Fisher.

Last year LAFCA presented its career achievement award to Gena Rowlands; past recipients include Richard Lester, Frederick Wiseman, Doris Day and Paul Mazursky. Coates and this year’s other winners will be feted on Jan. 9 at the org’s awards dinner, which will be dedicated to the memory of the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman, who died Oct. 5 in Paris.

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