May 24th, 2012


The Director's Cut

In the comments of yesterday's post, I was asked about the director's cut of Aliens. I don't really think it gives all that much more to the original, but it got me thinking about director's cuts, in general.

Once, there was a time when I was young and thought director's cuts were cool and fantastic and new, but now I'm mostly cured of that. Sure, a director's cut can be that, but how many DVDs promise it just for a marketing tool on a shit film to begin with? I mean, there's a director's cut of the Chronicles of Riddick. For a film like that, there has to be a moment where you step back and say, "I apologise for making the film, I'm sorry, here's twenty bucks back for the original movie ticket." And it seems to me that there's a lot of director's cuts out there now, a lot of them lurking under the 'uncut' and 'unrated' tag to try and convince you to buy a version of a film that ought not have been made to begin with.

But, that said, there are still a lot of films that suffered from studio involvement that I'd like to watch a director's cut of. There's a lot of Orson Welles films that were sadly butchered, though the chances of seeing them returned are pretty slim. Tony Kaye, the director of American History X, was infamous in his insistence to get his name taken off the film after his original version was cut and put out--and you know, I liked that version, but I'd really like to see Kaye's original cut of the film. There are a number of other examples, as well, with studio interference being a long and terrible influence on film over the years.

And then there are the versions that didn't need a director's cut, but got one anyhow--I liked, for example, Apocalypse Now Redux, which I believe adds a nice new layer to a film that, to be honest, I was always happy with before.

But mostly, it's true, a director's cut doesn't do much for me anymore.