I’ll Never Complain About Edits Again


I recently rewatched 2007’s Eastern Promises. You probably know it, if you’re here, but if you don’t it was David Cronenberg’s London set Russian mafia movie starring Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel and Naomi Watts.

My observations upon re-viewing were that it is much funnier in the opening stages than I remember and there was more homoeroticism than I had noticed the first time round.

The pivotal scene in the film comes when Mortensen’s character is sent to a Turkish bath to meet with an associate of his boss not knowing he’s being set up to take the fall for his boss’s son. He sits only in a towel as his assailants approach, which is quickly disposed of when the first strike is rendered.

It’s a bloody, visceral, majestic and more than memorable scene especially on repeat viewing as you’re not as distracted by the possibility of seeing Viggo’s wang, but more impressed by how little you actually do see of it.

I watched it more than once to marvel at the edits. Not even a three year old bursting into the room to seek assistance for something could stop me.

Ronald Sanders did in fact win the equivalent of a Canadian Oscar for his work, but I’ve spent way too long wondering if it was shot in such a way as to avoid too much dong shots or if Ronald had to wade through the footage and find just the right framing and angle of one of the multiple roundhouse kicks Viggo throws in the battle.

I prefer to think it is probably the latter, if only to make me not complain about editing writing as much as I could always be Ronald Sanders looking to craft a wonderful, striking fight scene without showing more shafts than they’re allowed.

I can only imagine if anyone associated with the film ever sees this I will be greeted with a Russian mafia style two finger salute. I’d definitely kill in the buff for a stay at a hotel in Edinburgh right now!

Scott Cumming enjoys reading too much to consider himself a proper writer. He resides in Aberdeen with his partner and two sons. Catch up with all his misdemeanours on Twitter @tummidge

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