Starting with Godard | Prologue

Filmexplorer's Editing Collection | Season 1 (0/5)

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.

The Episode 0


This is a sort of prologue to Filmexplorer’s Editing Collection and introduces quite practical questions through the humour of the legendary 1988 conference on montage by Jean-Luc Godard (in the context of the Mardis de la Fémis). Starting with a homage, we also introduce two of the five professional editors that will contribute to the first season of these episodes: “Experts not Specialists”.

In the video below here (in French and German), Tania Stöcklin and Katarina Türler discuss Godard’s ideas and provocations, kicking off Filmexplorer’s series on editing.




What is the ideal size of an editing room?
How should the editor start sorting out the film material?
How to measure the perfect length of a film?
Is editing a solitary work?
Is editing a women’s job?

Through these apparently trivial questions Godard hints at ideas such as the sculptural essence of montage, the importance of being a material and physical process, its utopic character and its connection to destiny.

After several years of research and exchanges with editing experts, Filmexplorer’s Editing Collection goes online with a physical launch at the Solothurner Filmtage. The beginning of the online series on editing will be presented at a special event that Filmexplorer has organised, together with the “Rencontre” section of the festival:

TOOLS NOT RULES – Montage (ver)lernen – (Dés)apprendre le montage

The main motive of Filmexplorer’s serial project is approached from the perspective of the challenges of learning and teaching editing and will host some of the protagonists of the first season of the series: professional editors Tania Stöcklin, Katarina Türler, Philippe Ciompi and Beatrice Gibson. Olivier Zuchuat, responsible with Bertrand Bacqué for the publication of the book Montage – Une anthologie (1913-2018), will open the discussion.