Yesterday the film fans celebrated Thelma Schoonmaker’s 81st birthday with an outpouring of love and admiration. Those “in the know” understand and appreciate her momentous contributions to the world of cinema. However, most casual moviegoers probably wouldn’t recognize her name, much less have an in-depth perception of her work.
To easily remedy that, all one needs to do is take a look at her resume. Schoonmaker has been Martin Scorsese’s film editor for more than 50 years (!), having first collaborated with the maestro of cinematic mayhem on the filmmaker’s debut feature, 1967’s “Who’s That Knocking at My Door.” Since then, she’s edited all of Scorsese’s pictures since 1980’s “Raging Bull.”
As a result, Schoonmaker boasts eight (!) Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing, winning three: “Raging Bull,” The Aviator,” and “The Departed.” Beyond her Oscars, she has too many other nominations and awards from other organizations to reasonably summarize.
So you can imagine that when I saw ol’ Schoony was celebrating her birthday, the first thing I thought of was this wonderful video by my favorite YouTube essayist, The Royal Ocean Film Society. It’s an incredible examination of a truly legendary career … in addition to being a nice walk down the memory lane of both her and Scorsese’s filmography. Check it out.