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Anwar, Tariq (1945-)


Main image of Anwar, Tariq (1945-)

Employed at the beginning of his career as a runner and junior assistant director for a small production company, Tariq Anwar was drawn to the cutting room which struck him "as being an altogether more civilised place" than the studio floor. During the late 1960s and early 1970s he freelanced as a second assistant editor on films as diverse as Cromwell (d. Ken Hughes, 1970) and Au Pair Girls (Val Guest, 1972).

Anwar then moved on to permanent employment at the BBC, being promoted to editor after five years as an assistant. Despite the institution's hierarchical and bureaucratic nature, one advantage at that time was: "The BBC was a great place to learn and make mistakes and not worry about being sacked." Like many editors, Anwar felt he was often more "liberated from the constraints of conventional cutting" on documentaries. One major difference between editing television drama, compared to feature films, was that "there were again few people, as in documentaries, to defer to: the director, producer and Head of Department. The cut that left the cutting room was pretty much the one transmitted."

After such a long time in television Anwar's transition to editing features was not easy: "Having come out of eighteen years of television, notwithstanding major awards and nominations, I was not acceptable as a movie editor...I was not studio approved." For example, Anwar worked with the director Robert Young several times in television "yet when he went on to direct features his requests for me were rejected." The break came when "Nick [Hytner] with encouragement from producers Stephen Evans and David Parfitt, gave me the chance to cut The Madness of King George (d. Hytner, 1994) and the success of that film made me suddenly acceptable."

Since then Anwar has been very active, editing all of the features subsequently directed by Hytner as well as other notable films including The Wings of the Dove (d. Iain Softley, 1997) and American Beauty (US, d. Sam Mendes, 1999). One of his contributions to the latter film was to work with Sam Mendes on compressing its original ending. This was "a beautifully orchestrated sequence in terms of design, execution and content... built solely of tracking shots", but rather too long to retain in its entirety.

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

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