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The Tonal Trick of Editing “Jojo Rabbit”

“As much as we've talked about it, I don't see such a huge gulf between comedy and drama.”

“I hope the humor in Jojo Rabbit helps engage a new generation,” says the film’s director Taika Waititi. “It’s important to keep finding new and inventive ways of telling the horrific story of World War II again and again for new generations, so that our children can listen, learn, and move forward, unified into the future.”

Discussing his work with Steve Hullfish, Jojo Rabbit editor Tom Eagles explains, “Every scene that I was cutting I was always aware of trying to get that tonal balance right. So we had a lot of material. We definitely had the material to make a purely comedic film all the way through to the end, but on a structural level we found that we wanted to kind of transition at a certain point in the film from comedy into drama. But we never wanted to lose either of those elements. So it was always a question of keeping all the balls in the air. So it was important to me that we had signposts early on.”

“For me, as much as we’ve talked about it, I don’t see such a huge gulf between comedy and drama,” Eagles continues. “Comedy is just a great tool. It opens a door and if you can get people to laugh you loosen them up and they can look at things that they might not want to look at. They can think about things differently, which is quite important when you’re trying to persuade people to empathize with a Nazi — a little Nazi.

“So for me, I don’t even think of them as different genres, Eagles concludes. It’s all part of the same thing and good humor should also have all the same elements of storytelling and emotion built into it. The humor that I love is stuff that makes you feel something and that you can relate to.” To read the full interview, click here or listen below.

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