The thread on “Assassination of Jesse James…” made me think back to how I boycotted that film’s release in the theatres because I was dismayed to hear that Andrew Dominik had to shorten the length by over an hour, only to have seen it on dvd and kicked my ass to the curb that I didn’t see the grandure of this picture on the big screen.
I was equally dismayed that Julie Taymor’s “Across the Universe” was forced to be shortened, but saw that theatrically hoping for a great film and was let down, knowing that another hour would have given it the pacing that it needed to be able to breathe freely.
While there are a lot of films out there that are completely taken away from director’s by the studios in order to be made more “accessible” (ie commercial), there are these others where the studio ultimately decides that the director’s intention is not how they want the film to be anymore, and they at least give the director enough leeway to recut, trim, and release a quasi-approved version.
There is a nice letter that speaks to the effect of the former instance by Hal Masonberg here: http://www.theauteurs.com/topics/207/comments, but let’s talk about those other films that don’t necessarily get the media attention or the studio backing to warrant a director’s cut, even on video.
If it was a perfect world, which director’s cuts would you love to see? Secondary to that, what director’s cuts do you think are overrated? There are some out there that think the pressure of restraint can end up pushing the artist to make a stronger piece of art—in some unique situations. Which films do you think fall into this category?
I will venture to add the director’s cut of “Titus” to my list of wants (yes, I am a Taymor fan—though I didn’t care for “Frida” that much), and offer up that Wes Craven’s “Scream” was tauter in the theatrical release than in his director’s cut. Some may argue “Natural Born Killers” in either category, but I will stand aside on that one.
I would have said “The New World”, but it looks like we now have both versions available—and I’m still not really sure that the extended cut is really Malick’s preferred cut.
I’d have to stand aside on NBK as well – I know someone who described the film as ‘like being locked inside a room with an illiterate man screaming at you for 2 hours’. Which always makes me smile. Actually it’s made me think about a different idea. Not so much directors cuts as movies that were never made… a whoe new thread. Opening that one up right now…
Eyes Wide Shut in Kubrick’s intended form.
EWS—the great neverwas. Ah, well.
My Craven reference was a little weak, so I’d like to replace it with a Godard reference that I just recalled. In being faced with a non-commercial running time for “Breathless” Godard was pushed to invent the jump cut. Now while he wasn’t necessarily forced to recut by a studio, per se, but a non-commercial film is one that won’t make his investors happy, so, yes, there was definite pressure beyond his own reasoning. And a great thanks to J-P Melville for the suggestion to remove the scenes that slowed down the action.
The Keep by Michael MannThe Magnificent Ambersons by Orson Welles, rather all the post-Citizen Kane films of Orson WellesGreed by Erich von Stroheim
The complete PlayTime by Jacques Tati
The complete The Rules of the Game by Jean Renoir
The complete season 5 of The Wire (HBO imposed a limitation of 10 episodes)London at Midnight by Tod BrowningAnnie Hall by Woody Allen (with the murder mystery subplot [or so I’ve been told])
Matthias, the murder mystery subplot ended up being the premise for 1993’s “Manhattan Murder Mystery.”
Both Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Fire Walk with Me have hours of footage not used. There’s an ongoing negotiation to have a new version of FWwM released with 17 additional scenes. The Blue Velvet stuff is gone, if I’m recalling correctly. These aren’t necessarily “director’s cuts” because Lynch gets final cut but it’d be interesting to see the longer versions.
Ah; I still think it might be interesting to see how it cut together with the rest of Annie Hall
ANNIE HALL didn’t really have a murder mystery subplot. it was a seed of the idea that was dropped very early on. It wasn’t shot, it wasn’t even really written. it was nothing more than just brainstorming.
THE RULES OF THE GAME and PLAYTIME are as complete as they could every possibly be.
I remember that theatre boycott.
I’d love to see the unused footage of FWwM—not to mention a new mastering of the dvd, the audio on the old one totally ruins one of the roadhouse scenes, bringing the music down so that it doesn’t drown out the dialogue, yet there are burned in subtitles! Aargh.
I’d love to see an extended cut of Thin Red Line, and an extended cut of Gangs of New York. I know that the rough cut was something like 6 hours long for Gangs, so I know there has to be whole sequences left out of the product that he released, and given the fact that the current version is not Marty’s best work, I’d like to see him re-release it in a longer form.
I second “Gangs”. I have a dvd somewhere of the rough cut, but the transfer is horrendous. I should sit down a watch it sometime though.
i wanna see the cut scene’s from Satan tango.
clive barker’s nightbreed! apparently there is an extra half hour in a store room somewhere, but the studio is too lazy to find it
does anybody know if a longer cut of “There Will be Blood” exists? It was a beautiful film, but it just ended a little too abruptly for me. I’m holding out for a director’s cut with director’s commentary, as the current SD and BluRay editions are fairly bare-bones releases….
I would sell my soul to see the unchopped version of The Lady from Shanghai.
Triple post? What just happened…
Not really a director’s cut, but I would like to see Metropolis with Giorgio Moroder’s pop soundtrack…..
Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtman’s Contract – the film was hacked down from an original 3-hour cut.
The assassination of jesse James by the coward john ford
Not really a director’s cut, but I think it would be cool to see the original 5 hour version of Apocalypse Now. I couldn’t see much being added to the impact of the movie, but it would still be interesting.