It is of course always sad to lose someone of great and unusual talent, but to lose them in their prime, with so much still ahead of them is especially tragic.

News comes today from The LA Times of the death of Sally Menke, who was an acclaimed and gifted editor, having worked with Quentin Tarantino on every one of his films, from Reservoir Dogs all the way up to and including Inglourious Basterds, for which she was rightly nominated for an Academy Award. As distinctive an ear for dialogue as Tarantino undoubtedly has, his films are just as marked for their audacious, unconventional narratives and editing and Menke’s contribution to Tarantino’s films cannot therefore be overstated.

Menke was not shackled to Tarantino by any means. She edited films as diverse as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, All The Pretty Horses, Mulholland Falls and Heaven and Earth, working alongside such directors as Billy Bob Thornton, Oliver Stone and Lee Tamahori. Alongside her Oscar nomination for Inglourious Basterds, she was also nominated for Pulp Fiction, picking up BAFTA noms along the way for Basterds, Fiction and Kill Bill:Volume 1.

Menke had been hiking in Griffith Park and was found at the bottom of a ravine in Beachwood Canyon, the searing temperatures in LA for the past few days being speculated upon as a contributing factor to her sad death.  She was a genuinely and exceptionally gifted young editor, gone far to soon at the age of 56.

This news came first from The Los Angeles Times where you can find more info.

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.