This question came up today with one of my friends. For me it comes down to “Kingdom of Heaven” or “Blade Runner”… Scott loves his directors cuts.
Like Scorsese, I don’t believe in a director’s cut. A picture should be complete and not have variable cuts and scenes. Even deleted scenes are sometimes annoying to watch because you begin to imagine it in the film, and that tends to destroy the movie altogether.
Jaeger Inkman – I don’t understand, you don’t believe in a director’s cut? Who’s cut to you believe in? The studio’s? The actor’s? I’ve never heard anyone say that don’t believe in a director’s cut before since in my mind, the director’s version is really the only version. And I’m completely shocked if in fact Scorsese holds the same position, that he doesn’t believe a director should have control over their film. I’d be interested to hear you expound on this, as I’ve never heard this before.
The first movie that came to mind is Aliens. The director’s cut or special edition or whatever is on the Quadrilogy is far superior to the theatrical version. I can’t believe they would cut out all that stuff with Ripley’s daughter and Newt’s family in the begining. Without all that stuff, the connection between Ripley and Newt is non-existant. It’s a perfect example of turning a good film into a bad film simply cut editing it down.
What Scorsese believes and I think what Jaeger is saying is he doesn’t believe in directors releasing director’s cuts on DVD that are purely extended versions. Scorsese believes once the film is finished, its finished. I’m sure Scorsese is fine with things like the reconstructed Touch of Evil. Scorsese definitely believes directors should have final cut.
I think that once a film is released, although unfortunate, if possible, I would still prefer director’s cuts to be released on DVD. Think of all those films that could have been much greater if a “director’s cut” was released later. Say The Magnificent Ambersons or Greed. (Even Dark City; the opening was completely butchered by the studio)
I want to clarify this is what Scorsese thinks not what I necessarily think. I think only director’s cuts should be released if the studios messed with the movie. I wouldn’t like to see Scorsese screw around with Taxi Driver and rerelease it.
Apocalypse Now Redux
I loved the original version for 21 years, but the addition of the plantation sequence blew me away and made it an even better film. (The other two added sequences involving the Playboy Bunnies … eh, I could take them or leave them)
Fredo, what I meant is that directors shouldn’t release their own cut on DVD. What else could I possibly have meant?? Its MY opinion, and also something Scorsese doesn’t agree with. When you’re done making a film, move on to the next one instead of baselessly ruminating on some stupid scenes that wouldn’t have made it into the movie anyhow. My point, again Fredo, is that the director’s cut trivializes the main film. Its almost always pointless eye candy: A perfectly schemed method of raising DVD sales. That’s the problem with some of you guys on this great but increasingly grimed site: Everyone wants their opinion to be final, which is senseless. Please read my comments carefully next time before attacking.
Jaegar, what if the studio messes with a director’s film? Would you permit a director’s cut on dvd then?
Wow, not only was I not attacking you Jaeger but I did read your comments five times before replying. Maybe I was just not understanding you correctly, which is why I asked you for clarification (I apologize if that’s interpreted as an attack but I meant to engage in a conversation, not an argument). The only time I’ve ever heard of a director redoing his film is George Lucas with the Star Wars films, which was completely ridiculous and unnecessary. All that new stuff was just distracting.
Most of the time I’ve heard of director’s cuts is when studios take a film away from the filmmaker and release the film as not intended by the director. Brazil is the most obvious example of a studio (Universal) completely stealing a film from a filmmaker and recutting it. Thank God for Criterion releasing Gilliam’s version, as the only version of any film that I’m interested in watching is the one intended by the director, not the studio heads who base their decisions on what will appease an audience.
Fredo, Have you seen the Love Conquers All version?
That would be fair. But, directors like the above mentioned Ridley Scott more often than not don’t get their movies trampled on by the studios. They just do the directors cut thingy out of unchecked liberty and clout. A movie lover like myself goes to the cinema and pays 7 bucks to revel in the director’s mastery of cinema, not to watch half of such ingenuity on the big screen and another half, albeit contrived, on DVD. Agree?
Drew, I have seen both versions. Love Conquers All is horrible. They deliberately make Buttle a terrorist when the whole idea was the have him not a terrorist and just a framed plumber, thereby destroying much of the satire. The altered ending was horrible, considering how great Gilliam’s cut’s ending is.
Drew – No not yet. But when I rewatch it, I watch the shorter version, just to see how bad it is.
Jaeger – I don’t see any mention of Ridley Scott on this thread but if director’s are releasing films they’re pleased with then changing them later on, then yeah, I’m with you. I want to see their original intent. Not a revisionist recut. Unfortunately, I would say a lot of directors release films that have been compromised in some way by the studio – this is just the nature of the beast. Brazil is not the only example of Gilliam getting raped by a studio. The version of The Brothers Grimm that was released in the theater and on DVD is nothing like the film Gilliam set out to make.
Law, Haha I have seen the ending, and if the film is anything like that then it must be awful. Studios can be so stupid sometimes. If I watch that version I am watching it with commentary.
Scott is mentioned by Peter Smith in the first comment.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, mainly because it revealed a hell of a lot about the men behind the film.
In the DVD business, the “director’s cut” has become an abused privilege — something that’s less likely to restore crucial film elements as it is to include extra minutes of indifferent material. However, with the exception of Orson Welles, few directors had their films tampered with more often than Sam Peckinpah, who never had the opportunity to get the second chance DVD now offers.
The 2005 DVD edition of Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid finally gave us a chance to see Peckinpah’s so-called director’s cut.
This is a rough directors cut (meaning it was never really fine tuned) which is now called the 1988 Turner Preview Edition.
It is called the Preview Edition because it was just that, the preview cut Peckinpah put together under his own power to show the producers in post-production. It is also as far as Peckinpah ever got to bring it without the studio cutting it to pieces and Peckinpah eventually called for his name to be removed from the picture. The Preview cut is the cut Peckinpah screened for friends and family for the 10 years between finishing the film and his death, it was revived from his OWN personal copy of the film.
Read Rosenbaum’s Death by a Thousand Director’s Cuts on that topic.
The Abyss and The Lord of the Rings are proof of the value of ’director’s cuts/extended editions’ over what was presented theatrically.
In both these circumstances the theatrical version was truncated. The DVD versions rounded out the stories and helped to complete the artists’s vision.
Extended scenes aren’t revelations. The new cuts of these films changed them fundementally, delivering an entirely new experience from what you had in the theater.
Jaeger is wrong, and I doubt that if he has even seen “Kingdom of Heaven” which is a vastly superior film as the extended cut. The regular cut of the film is about as shallow as a puddle, but with the extra context of the added footage it makes it a much, much better experience.
More often than not, the extended cut is superior to the theatrical, and as a movie lover, I can never get enough film footage, whether it is added as an extended cut, or merely viewable as a deleted scene. Some deleted scenes should be put back in, and some shouldn’t. Most films are not perfect, even the great ones, and there are rare few that wouldn’t benefit from having more footage-the exceptions usually being tightly scripted noirs and thrillers.
Kingdom of Heaven and Alexander are both superior in their Final Cut form as compared to their theatrical releases, which in both cases were borderline disasters. You will never hear me complain about having 40 extra minutes of Andrei Rublev, either.
I wish that Scorcese would do a director’s cut of Gangs of New York as it might make it actually a good film and give it a little more depth.
Akira, I have to disagree with you as well; because while few directors have experienced what Welles experienced in having the studio destroy the negatives of his last reel and reshoot is to suit their desires, many directors have had to concede things in order to please studio bosses and get the movie in theaters. Now, I know that this is part of the game, but if the footage is there, I see no problem with going back at a later date and allowing the director to put it back together as he envisioned, when there are no studio bosses to insist on not keeping the audience too long or what have you.
Also, you are right in that in the business a ’director’c cut’ is the raw cut before it is fine tuned, which I think is one reason why you are starting to see less dvd released as ’director’s cuts’ and more as ‘extended cuts’ or ‘final cuts’.
PS. I own all three dvd releases of “Alexander” as well as the Blu-Ray Final Cut which has a new commentary from Stone. As an aspiring filmmaker, and film lover, I find it exceedingly interesting to observe how more or less the exact same footage can become a very different movie, simply by editing it in a different way. The Theatrical cut of Alexander was hot garbage, but the director’s cut was better, and the Final Cut is sublime.
In the case of Peckinpah and Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, the only reason the footage exists today is because Peckinpah hid a copy (his own rough cut) away.
Also, at the time (1973) there was no DVD or home video.
World of difference between restoring a film butchered by the studio against the filmmakers wishes (Pat Garret & Billy The Kid), and the DVD marketing ploy of adding 2 or 3 minutes to a film and calling it the “director’s cut”, such as Alien, when in fact, the original theatrical version was the director’s cut to begin with.
What a sad world it would be if the Theatrical Cut of Blade Runner were the only one available.
“Apocalypse Now Redux
I loved the original version for 21 years, but the addition of the plantation sequence blew me away and made it an even better film. (The other two added sequences involving the Playboy Bunnies … eh, I could take them or leave them)”
Yeah! I never saw the original… but I think the length of this and everything that was here was just a beating. I loved it. I want to see Alexander!
I had to laugh at the idea that the Lord of the Rings films released theatrically were the “truncated” versions…Anyway, most of these Director’s Cuts are a shameless way for studios to make more money by selling a product twice – or, in reality,many more times than that. I was happy with the oiginal Alien. The Director’s Cut was interesting. But I’m sure that many of my favourite films have more scenes that could have been added lying around somewhere (“gathering dust” is the term, I think); what we don’t know won’t kill us, people! Do we let every single film that gets a release have more scenes added somewhere down the line – because every single film will have footage shot that didn’t make it into the “final” release version – so that we are all wondering if what we are watching in a theatre is “it”, or should we not have bothered going and waited for the “Director’s Cut Special Edition” dvd of Epic Movie 4 (“With more shit!”) to hit the shelves (with a “plop”, no doubt)?
Neil, it is not up to us to ‘let’ anything get a re-release. There is clearly no market for a secondary release with a director’s cut of Epic Movie; while there clearly is for Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings. If you don’t want to watch them, buy only the theatrical cut, and don’t rebuy it if there is a director’s cut.
I never purchased the theatrical cut of Kingdom of Heaven after I saw it in theaters, but jumped at the chance to buy the Extended cut; and I only bought the theatrical cut of Alexander so that I can compare it to the director’s cut. The theatrical cut and director’s cut were both availabe from the first day, while the Final Cut was released later, but it has more than a mere 2 or 3 minutes added and nobody forced me to buy it either.
Director’s cut is relevant when it represents the director’s chance to get what he really intended to have on screen ad he was forced by producers or others to modify for commercial reasons. All other uses should be banned.
It is true, as Akira said, that many director’s cut now are driven by the will of selling more DVDs. Producers or other responsibles have only changed their tools: when the movie is released they force cuts to respect timings just to have more projections per day or cuts to avoid to disappoint the public’s established (by them) expectations. When the movie is released to DVD they force cuts to sell different versions of the same movie, often without any other reason than making money and not respecting the director’s vision.
Not a fan of Redux. The original is better.