Dede Allen, a pioneer of cinematic editing, died on Saturday at the age of 86. The New York Times reports that Ms. Allen suffered a stroke on Wednesday, before passing away in her Los Angeles home over the weekend. As an editor, Allen remained firmly behind the camera, but while you might not know her by name, you definitely know her work.

Influenced by the French New Wave, Allen excelled at staccato cutting and overlapping audio with a number of shots, which helped mold the future of cinema. She cut with "her feelings," and while such a notion might suggest Nicholas Sparks-type themes, her resume is anything but. Her first solo credit was earned with Warren Beatty's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, editing the whirlwind life and bullet-ridden death the iconic couple, and from there her films covered a wildly impressive range: Slaughterhouse Five, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Wiz, Reds, The Breakfast Club, Henry & June, The Addams Family, and Wonder Boys (along with roughly 20 additional features). The bolded films all won her Oscar nominations, although she never won the small statuette. Her final film was 2008's Fireflies in the Garden.

As Scott Rudin notes of the editor, Allen was "not bound to the conventional ideas about how you told a movie story." In a cinematic world that seems quite happy to rest in convention, this is a big loss to the film community and fans of cinema. I can only hope that her work inspires more women to challenge convention and help shape our filmmaking future.
categories Cinematical