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Film editor Gerry Hambling dies

Award-winning British film editor Gerry Hambling, who cut 14 films with Sir Alan Parker, has died aged 86.

Paying tribute to his long time collaborator, Parker said: “He was undoubtedly one of the finest film editors that the British film industry has produced.”

Hambling came into the film industry aged 16, working at Pinewood Studios as an editor’s apprentice and progressing to the role of editor on British comedies such as The Bulldog Breed, starring Norman Wisdom.

He went on to work for Soho-based post-production house Roger Cherrill, where he met Parker and his producer partner Alan Marshall.

After making commercials together, he went on to edit 14 of Parker’s feature films including Bugsy Malone, Fame, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, Pink Floyd: The Wall and The Commitments.

During his career he also worked with other renowned film-makers including Jim Sheridan on the award-winning In the Name of the Father, Ridley Scott on White Squall, Roland Joffé on City of Joy, Marek Kanievska on Another Country, Julian Temple on Absolute Beginners and in his early days, Joseph Losey on The Servant.

Hambling won awards from both the US and UK editors’ guilds as well as three BAFTAs. He received the ACE (American Cinema Editors) Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 and was nominated six times for an Academy Award.

Hambling was one of the founder members of The Guild of British Film Editors (GBFTE) set up in 1966 to further the aims of the art of film editing.

As film moved to digital, Hambling resolutely stuck to working physically on celluloid. His final film was Parker’s 2003 thriller The Life of David Gale, after which he retired.

John Grover, vice-chairman of the GBFTE, said: “He was a larger than life character revered and respected by all who worked with him; he had a love of film and a natural feeling towards story-telling.

“He was a hard working technician who loved loud music and fast action sequences; he was rather hard on equipment but never got used to editing electronically as he preferred to handle film, something he could ‘see and feel’.

“He will be missed by friends and colleagues for his warmth and understanding. It was an honour to have known him.”

Hambling was born on June 14, 1926 and died in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, Feb 5.

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