Urban Cinefile
"I try my hardest to maximise the significant and minimise the trivial, and I really go out of my way to avoid every single thing that would bore, aggravate, hurt or disrespect me. "  -Actor James Woods
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 18, 2018 

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

JILL BILCOCK: DANCING THE INVISIBLE

SYNOPSIS:
Jill Bilcock, an outspoken art student in 1960s Melbourne went on to become one of the world's most acclaimed film editors.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Jill Bilcock got the part of the baddie's girlfriend ('a slut' she quips) in an Indian film made in Bombay once, not, she says, because she had talent but because she had shoes. And we're not even 12 minutes into this 'it's about time a doco was made about Jill' film. Anyone in or around the Australian film industry - such as a film critic like me - is familiar with Jill's work, of course, as is the film consuming public even though they may not know it. Editors' names aren't well remembered, but the films she has cut include Evil Angels, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luhrmann's masterpiece, cut in Jill's house in Brunswick), Elizabeth, The Dish, Moulin Rouge, Red Dog and The Dressmaker (among others), and all are milestones, mostly in Australian cinema.

A year after her Bombay film role, she finally arrived in London, her original destination, but the job she had gone for hadn't waited. Of course, all those experiences travelling the world fed into and expanded her creative capital, which seems to have continued to expand to this day. There isn't time nor perhaps the editorial space in this entirely professional bio for more information about that year nor about her private life overall.

Among the highlights for me is the part Jill describes how she created what she calls 'the clap' scene in Strictly Ballroom, splicing together the sound of the crowd clapping, which didn't last anywhere near as long on set as it does on screen. And we watch the scene as she describes it... we see the magic of cinema created, 'truth' told with 'lies'. We learn how it is Jill's sensibilities that come to bear on her editing decisions, decisions that can change a film pretty well completely. A powerful example of power and responsibility in a creative sense.

In between clips from her films (clips which elevate and give depth & grip to this doco), filmmaker Axel Grigor inserts brief excerpts of actors and directors heaping high praise on Jill's talent ("Editing is a dance. And Jill is the perfect partner." Phil Noyce), and even some historic footage of Jill at work. Most interesting of all, though, is the narrative Jill provides, explaining how she approaches her work. It all rests on expressing emotion - "isn't that what life's about" she asks rhetorically.

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

JILL BILCOCK: DANCING THE INVISIBLE (M)
(Aust, 2017)

CAST: Documentary featuring Jill Bilcock, Cate Blanchett, Baz Luhrmann, Bruce Beresford, Fred Schepisi, Phil Noyce, Martin Brown and others

PRODUCER: Axel Grigor, Faramarz K. Rahber

DIRECTOR: Axel Grigor

SCRIPT: Axel Grigor

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Faramarz K. Rahber

EDITOR: Axel Grigor, Scott Walton

RUNNING TIME: 78 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Film Art Media

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 5, 2018







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2018