Fabrice Aragno (5/5)

Filmexplorer's Editing Collection | Season 1 (5/5)

Editing, cutting, montage – it is one of the most important tasks in the creation of moving images. Both technical and artistic skills are required for the editor, whose role has often been neglected, while the theory of montage has been largely celebrated.

Filmexplorer hereby consecrates a series of online episodes to the work of editing, in order to stress the practical challenges of the job of editor and the artistic need for emancipation from any dogmatic rules.

The first five episodes highlight several aspects of the editing process through discussion with the makers: the editors.

Professional editors like Tania Stöcklin and Katarina Türler bear witness to the importance for the editors to be experts but not specialists. Thanks also to the experience in creating documentary films, they show the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to editing, which should start in the educational phase and continue through the collaborations with the film team.

Profession and artistic craft go hand in hand; this is stressed in the discussion with Beatrice Gibson who uses the strength of editing at its best in her own filmic works. The discussions with Philippe Ciompi and Fabrice Aragno not only confirm the interdisciplinary and artistic approaches, but also allow us to consider two specific perspectives on montage, respectively: on sound editing, and on multi-screen editing within an exhibition space.

Discussion with Fabrice Aragno

In 2019 the Nyon castle hosted an exhibition around Jean-Luc Godard’s film Le livre d’image. The curator of the exhibition and a film director himself, Fabrice Aragno, has also been Godard’s collaborator for many years, mostly for the editing and the sound mixing. For Filmexplorer the Nyon exhibition has been the opportunity to discuss with him the specificity and the challenges of editing with many screens in the exhibition space. For example, in a collaboration with Pippo Delbono, he has also experienced this “theatrical” condition in the act of editing itself.

In Ruth Baettig’s intriguing montage of the aforementioned discussion, Aragno is put in dialogue with Godard’s infamous 1988 conference on montage at the Fémis in Paris. Both of them insist on the physical activity of film editing as opposed to the digital conditions of editing and – consequently - on the different energies in editing and shooting. Be the editing work a solitary one or not, the team collaboration marks the practice of cinema, and we can discover how the collaboration between Godard and Aragno is based on the pleasure of making and the ludic principle of composition. The “hazardousness” competes with the freedom within the important and useful constraint of an oeuvre whose authorship is constantly put in question.


About the exhibition at the Nyon Castle


Fabrice’s Bio and Infos

Casa Azul’s production website