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Gibbs, Antony


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After eighteen months working on the studio floor and four years assisting Ralph Kemplen and Alan Osbiston, Antony Gibbs worked briefly in television before establishing himself as a features editor. In the early years of his career Osbiston's recommendations enabled him "to pick up movies that Alan couldn't do". Osbiston edited The Entertainer (d. Tony Richardson, 1960) prior to Gibbs' first collaboration with Richardson on the stylistically innovative A Taste of Honey (1961).

This marked the beginning of a remarkably productive period for Gibbs. He worked with Tony Richardson on five more films during the 1960s. In different ways each one afforded opportunities for experimental editing within the parameters of mainstream narrative film-making. This decade also saw Gibbs editing notable films for other young directors, such as The Knack (d. Richard Lester, 1965) and Performance (d. Donald Cammell/Nicolas Roeg, 1970). With a string of impressive credits to his name, Gibbs played a crucial historical role in contributing to new stylistic trends in 1960s British cinema.

Since the 1970s Gibbs has been based in Hollywood, collaborating most frequently with directors Norman Jewison, and more recently Mark Rydell and John Frankenheimer on both film and television projects. On their films together Jewison gave Gibbs considerable latitude rather than getting closely involved with the editing. Gibbs has worked across a variety of genres, from the musical Fiddler on the Roof (US, 1971) to the science-fiction film Dune (US, 1984). Gibbs sees himself as "an actor's editor", and was particularly pleased by Meg Tilly's recognition of how he helped make her performance in the title role of Agnes of God (US, 1985) even more powerful. Gibbs' sometimes unconventional approach to editing is partly dictated by a commitment to selecting takes featuring the strongest moments of performance, regardless of whether they occur in close-up, medium or long shot. He suggests that because he uses

bits that maybe other directors and editors... [would consider]... the wrong size of shot... you will never be able to look at any of my movies and say, yes, well he's cut this in the classical manner, and it's graceful, and we're moving to the right size of shot, because I don't do that, I'm looking for the acting all the time.

Roy Perkins/Martin Stollery, British Film Editors: The Heart of the Movie (BFI Publishing, 2004)

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Knack ...and How to Get It, The (1965)Knack ...and How to Get It, The (1965)

Archetypal Swinging London film which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes

Thumbnail image of Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The (1962)Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The (1962)

A borstal boy turns marathon runner in this adaptation of Alan Sillitoe's novel

Thumbnail image of Performance (1970)Performance (1970)

Dazzling psychological drama about a gangster and a rock star

Thumbnail image of Taste of Honey, A (1961)Taste of Honey, A (1961)

New Wave classic about a pregnant teenager facing an uncertain future

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