Starring: Every Actor Under The Sun
Director: György Pálfi
Running Time: 84 mins
Final Cut: Ladies And Gentlemen (Final Cut: Hölgyeim és uraim) is a Hungarian film about the timeless story of the relationship of a man and a woman, told through the clips of over 500 films.
You’ve really never seen any film quite like this. Effectively a feature-length supercut, this is probably the best candidate for what you’d call the ‘average’ movie, taking clips, musical themes and more from an enormous amount of films from all over the world, creating the definitive romantic story of all.
But above that, what this film really is, is an absolute masterclass in editing and directing. Given that it has no acting per se, nor any particular script, the entire responsibility of the film falls to the editors and director. However, given that the film is an engaging and incredibly unique watch from beginning to end, it’s clear that they’ve worked some absolute magic here, taking a series of totally unconnected clips and moulded them into a coherent and entertaining chain of events.
And when I say this film compiles a lot of clips from various movies, I really do mean a lot. For example, it borrows from the likes of Metropolis, Back To The Future, Nights Of Cabiria, Apocalypse Now, Breathless, Avatar, Modern Times, The Incredibles, Dirty Dancing, American Beauty, A Clockwork Orange, Pierrot le Fou, The Silence Of The Lambs, Oldboy, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Reservoir Dogs, The Princess Bride, Casablanca, Rosemary’s Baby, La Dolce Vita, Airplane!, Gone With The Wind, Moulin Rouge!, The Empire Strikes Back, Closely Observed Trains, Marriage Italian Style, The Fellowship Of The Ring, Sabrina, In The Mood For Love, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cinderella, Open Your Eyes, Groundhog Day, Run Lola Run, Rebel Without A Cause, Amélie, Shrek, The Double Life Of Veronique, Vertigo, Cinema Paradiso, The Graduate, Hero, Touch Of Evil, Paprika, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Titanic, Rashomon, City Lights, Die Hard, and even the Lumière Brothers’ The Arrival Of A Train to name just a fraction.
What I found most interesting and most impressive about this film is how, recognising and knowing the context of a lot of the clips used, it manages to completely change the meaning of certain classic movie moments just by their length, position in a series of other clips, or the score playing over them, demonstrating how vital the editing techniques are in creating this fantasy world.
It may seem near impossible to engage in a film that has no main characters as such, nor any particular setting. However, as the film centres around the theme of love, it’s surprisingly easy to draw a common thread between movies from all around the world that you would have thought were totally unconnected, and thanks to the brilliantly swift editing throughout, it feels as if the concept of the male lead and the female lead are characters in their own right, no matter what form they take or where they act.
And that’s arguably one of the other points of this movie, Apart from being an exercise in incredible editing, it shows that all movies, no matter how great or awful, aren’t all that different from each other, more often than not sharing very similar tropes that allow them all to be put into one situation as this film does.
But then again, this isn’t by any means a criticism of the movie world, but rather a celebration of the uniting features of the incredibly diverse world of cinema, and that’s why it’s such a memorable and unique watch, which is why I’m giving it an 8.0 overall.
(Plus, it’s the ultimate movie recognition quiz for any die-hard film buffs out there!)