Even The ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Editor Can’t Stand That Much-Mocked Scene

Senior Pop Culture Editor
03.21.19

20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing, which is pretty crazy when you consider that this scene exists. Trying to keep up with the constant cuts between Freddie Mercury to the other members of Queen to Freddie Mercury to Littlefinger from Game of Thrones (or Carcetti from The Wire, if you’re old school) back to Queen back to Freddie Mercury is enough to give you cinematic whiplash. It’s “objectively bad.” But don’t take my word for it — take the word of John Ottoman, the editor of Bohemian Rhapsody, who wants to “put a bag over my head” every time he sees the scene.

The meeting between Queen and manager John Reid was filmed by Dexter Fletcher after he replaced original director Bryan Singer, who was fired from the project. It was up to Ottoman to tie the two directors’ visions together, and he was “under pressure to make the film’s first act move swiftly, but test audiences never got bored and actually wanted more of the band’s early days,” according to the Washington Post. “So he went back and slowed those scenes down and let them breathe more — but he didn’t have time to do so with that meeting.”

“Whenever I see it, I want to put a bag over my head. Because that’s not my aesthetic,” he said. “If there’s ever an extended version of the film where I can put a couple scenes back, I will recut that scene!”

To his credit, Ottoman seems to have a good sense of humor about the whole “most editing, not best editing” thing. When told that the scene had gone viral with tweets like, “My brain is on fire thinking that this is an OSCAR NOMINATED MOVIE,” he replied, “Oh, my God! Wow. I didn’t know about that, but I know why that’s out there.” Also, Ottoman won an Oscar for working on one of the highest-grossing movies of 2018. I think he’s doing alright.

(Via Washington Post)

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