Very few film editors of Jim Clark’s stature and renown have written the story of their working lives. Editors are, in a way, the unsung heroes and heroines of filmmaking, a fact that makes Dream Repairman both a timely and remarkable book. Here, we have rare and firsthand testimony from the cutting room and, the editor’s voice is always one to heed.

When I first met Jim, I was aware of his reputation in the industry. The legendary “Doctor” Clark, the man who could make sick films healthy again. I knew about his lengthy career, his astonishing filmography, the great directors he had worked with, the films he had saved through his editorial finesse, the Oscars he had been nominated for, and the Oscar he had won.

The role of editor in the collective, collaborative process that is the making of any film is massively important but not one, I believe, that is generally recognised outside the small pond that is the filmmaking community. One of the great lessons of this wonderfully enjoyable memoir is that this point becomes steadily obvious, but it is made with subtlety, discretion, and modesty. It is also a potted history of the post-war film industry in England and America and, of course, an autobiography.

The trouble with writing an autobiography is that you can’t really say what a great guy you are, what fun you are to work with and hang out with, what insight and instinct you have about the art form of cinema, and how much and how many film directors are indebted to you. But I can, so now it is on the record. Dream Repairman is a delight, a classic of its kind and so is its author.

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