ROME – Walter Murch, the multiple-Oscar-winning U.S. film editor and sound designer, whose name is closely linked to 1970’s directors such as George Lucas (“THX 1138” and “American Graffiti”) and Francis Ford Coppola, will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival with its Vision Award – Nescens dedicated to those whose intuitions and skills have left their mark on film history.
“Murch’s career has embraced first sound and then film editing, pursuing a concept of audio-visual composition that treats the two as inseparable,” the prominent Swiss fest dedicated to indie filmmaking pointed out in a statement.
Case in point is Coppola’s “The Conversation,” for which Murch won double BAFTA awards, for both sound and film editing, in 1975. His other credits with Coppola include “The Rain People,” “The Godfather,” and “Apocalypse Now,” for which he won his first Oscar, for best sound, in 1980. Murch subsequently won two more Academy Awards, for both sound and film editing, on Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient in 1996 – the first and only time ever the same person has won the Oscar in both those categories.
“Having Walter Murch here – apart from the honor of his presence – also highlights the thinking behind this award, established two years ago. As Francis F. Coppola has written, ‘he is a true pioneer. A man we should listen to with great attention – and pleasure’,” said Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian.
Murch has continuously advanced his editing talent and versatility, experimenting with every new and emerging system, from analogue to digital, the fest noted. His knowledge and artistry are distilled in his 2001 book, “In the Blink of an Eye.” He is also the subject of two other books: Michael Ondaatje’s “The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Film Editing” and Charles Koppelman’s “Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema.”
Murch will hold a masterclass in Locarno, open to both the general public and accredited fest guests.
The 68th edition of the Locarno fest will run August 5-15.