1993 masterpiece from Spielberg gets a re-release for its 25th anniversary. And 25 years later, it still stands at one of the better-edited films I’ve seen. Editing being what I do for a living, I thought it’d be
1993 seemed to be one of the greatest year for cinema and Steven Spielberg. On one hand, you have the prime example of entertainment cinema with Jurassic Park and its groundbreaking special effects, and on the other hand a film very personal to Steven Spielberg, which ended up getting him its first and long-deserved Academy Awards for Best Director. The two are very different and, yet, so similar. If you really think about it, both tell the story of a group of people being brought to a dangerous place bordered with barbed wire and are confronted with something that surpasses them and they have to fight to survive.
I think we can all agree on the fact that Schindler’s List is a masterpiece. Masterpiece is even an understatement in my opinion. And seeing it on the big screen for the first time, thanks to its 25th anniversary re-release is an event I wouldn’t miss for the whole world. This helped me better understand why this film is still as powerful 25 years
Yes, Michael Kahn is the king here.
But the best scenes to make use of cross-cutting is shown later in the film. The Jews are relocated from the ghetto to a labor camp outside the city. Amon lives in a villa not far from the camp and employs a Jewish Girl named Helen Hirsch whole lives in the basement of the villa. While Oskar Schindler attends a show reserved for Party members, Amon pays a visit to Helen. At the same time (in the film, however), a Jewish wedding is taking place in the camp. The three scenes are inter-cut together. When the singer at the party approaches Oskar and bends over him, Amon comes close to Helen and just as the singer
Spielberg also uses the editing to create some “jokes” (there are not jokes per say, the film stays on focus with its subject, but lighter moments, if you prefer, to allow the audience to breathe for a moment). When Stern is forcefully taken on a train and Oskar comes to the station to look for him, he asks the name of the Nazi officials who tell him there’s nothing to do. After promising them they’ll find themselves on the Soviet front by the end of the week, the film cuts to Oskar and the officials looking for Stern. Yes, those lighter moments are very welcome as you can hardly breathe through-out the film. I was amazed by who strong the response of the audience was, 25 years later.