Revealing “The Invisible” Thelma Schoonmaker, The Editing Ace Up Scorsese’s Sleeve

Theirs is one of filmmaking’s longest and most-successful collaborations.

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Theirs is one of filmmaking’s longest and most-successful collaborations.

When you think Martin Scorsese, there are certain other names that come to mind, mostly actors: Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel. But the very first name you should think of, almost concurrently with Scorsese’s own, is that of Thelma Schoonmaker, the seven-time Oscar-nominated and three-time Oscar-winning editor who has cut every Scorsese film since Raging Bull, and who actually edited the director’s first feature, Who’s That Knocking at My Door? back when they were both at NYU in the late 1960s.

Schoonmaker is hands down one of the greatest editors the medium has ever known, and she’s as much the author of Scorsese’s films as is the director himself. Theirs is one of the most harmonious and long-standing collaborations in film history, as well as being one of the most successful, but despite her prestige, Schoonmaker isn’t one for the limelight, she leaves that to Marty and allows her work to speak for itself, which it does with aplomb.

To celebrate “the invisible” Thelma Schoomaker, Menno Kooistra has made the following video for VoorDeFilm in which two of her greatest scenes, both from Raging Bull (her first Oscar win), are analyzed to demonstrate just how exceptional her work is. A word of warning, though, these scenes are for mature audiences only.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist