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Each November in Poland, the Camerimage Film Festival, which casts a spotlight on the art and science of cinematography, celebrates an editor with the Unique Visual Sensitivity award. This year’s honoree is Carol Littleton.
Littleton is known for her prolific catalog of work with directors like Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan on film such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “The Big Chill” — but the project she cherishes the most is Robert Benton’s “Places in the Heart,” the film that won Sally Field the second of her two Oscars.
Oklahoma - Littleton - Sort - Family - Life
“I grew up in rural Oklahoma,” Littleton says. “The sort of family life, the sense of values and the extraordinary strength of [the characters in ‘Heart’] reminded me of my childhood. I grew up with those people, so it has a real personal resonance for me.”
It’s often assumed that editing is mostly about shaping the actors’ performances, but Littleton notes her most important focus is on the images themselves. “Editors [must be] very sensitive of the visual language that the director and cinematographer choose for the film, because we are the first interpreters of that when it comes to putting everything together,” she says.
Littleton - Hollywood - Ranks - 1960s - Intention
Littleton came up through the Hollywood ranks in the late 1960s and ’70s even though it wasn’t her intention to work in film, having graduated with an MA in literature. In 1963, she traveled to Europe as a student and visited a Renaissance art exhibit in Florence. There she met cinematographer John Bailey, current president of...
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