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The difference between 'look at' and 'look into' mediums


Tetro: A year in Argentina
Walter Murch Film-maker
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I continued with Francis [Ford Coppola], working with him again on his next film, which was Tetro, which is a family story set in Argentina, in Buenos Aires. But it's a reworking of a story that could just as well have been set in New York, about an Italian immigrant family, which is to say, his own family, arriving in the new world and things happening. Because of financial considerations, again, tax breaks and other mysterious things that I'm not too up to date with, we wound up not only shooting it in Argentina, but doing all the post-production in Argentina. And the… Short of the final mix, we brought the film back to Napa, which is where Francis Coppola has a mixing studio on his wine estate, and so we did the final mix back home, so to speak.

But basically, I was gone for a year, living in Buenos Aires. Fortuitously, my daughter had moved to Buenos Aires with her husband a year or so before that, and so I was there with her, and my son, Walter, was working as an assistant on Tetro, and my wife flew down a number of times, so we were all together as a family in Argentina, which was very nice. I'd never been there before. It's one of the perks of working in film – is you get to experience things that you would not experience otherwise, particularly because you're working, you're not a tourist, you see things from a certain perspective that you would not ordinarily see, and I appreciated that.

Born in 1943 in New York City, Murch graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. His career stretches back to 1969 and includes work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I, II, and III, American Graffiti, The Conversation, and The English Patient. He has been referred to as 'the most respected film editor and sound designer in modern cinema.' In a career that spans over 40 years, Murch is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola, beginning in 1969 with The Rain People. After working with George Lucas on THX 1138 (1971), which he co-wrote, and American Graffiti (1973), Murch returned to Coppola in 1974 for The Conversation, resulting in his first Academy Award nomination. Murch's pioneering achievements were acknowledged by Coppola in his follow-up film, the 1979 Palme d'Or winner Apocalypse Now, for which Murch was granted, in what is seen as a film-history first, the screen credit 'Sound Designer.' Murch has been nominated for nine Academy Awards and has won three, for best sound on Apocalypse Now (for which he and his collaborators devised the now-standard 5.1 sound format), and achieving an unprecedented double when he won both Best Film Editing and Best Sound for his work on The English Patient. Murch’s contributions to film reconstruction include 2001's Apocalypse Now: Redux and the 1998 re-edit of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil. He is also the director and co-writer of Return to Oz (1985). In 1995, Murch published a book on film editing, In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, in which he urges editors to prioritise emotion.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Argentina, Buenos Aires, Tetro, Francis Ford Coppola

Duration: 2 minutes, 5 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2016

Date story went live: 29 March 2017