Mark Kermode‘s latest blog post has really struck a chord with me. not that I have a particular film in mind that I want to re-cut. I know that diehard-fans of Star Wars have taken it upon themselves to make their own edit of episodes 1-3 which has allowed them to produce a personal version of the film that retells the saga in a more satisfying way for the fan. Kermode mentions for the umpteenth time Django Unchained (2012) taking out Quentin Tarantino‘s cameo as an Australian slave owner. I agree he should have had more restraint in what he was doing, staying to the lesser known cameo with the clumsy KKK who discussed the origins of their dress, making them look stupid and unable to see. That was clever and more subtle.
Moving to my main point that if we all take it upon ourselves to edit the films we believe need some attention shows a lack of respect for the piece we have. The work of the film makers who have delivered the work. Of course there are directors cuts that allows the director to return and reshape it, which is perfectly fair, it’s their work. Immediately I think of George Lucas who has taken that agency too far, which has angered fans. Then to look at Ridley Scott who has made alterations that greatly improve Blade Runner (1982). I have produced work using film, but that has changed the form intentionally into a new piece of work.
It would be interesting to see how the opinion of a fan can reshape a film, would they view that as the definitive version? Would they share it online with others to gauge opinion? Would a redit be a group effort? Would new sequences be shot and inserted? There’s a lot to consider when you really think about. If Kermode had the time and resources would he spend time re-editing Tarantino’s work, (bar Jackie Brown (1997)). Or should we just leave it to the director and the rest of the film-makers?
- Trouble Man: ‘Django Unchained’ and the Obliteration of Identity (Feature) (popmatters.com)
- Mark Kermode’s DVD round-up (guardian.co.uk)
- Don’t Take Your Guns to Town (tgjackson93.wordpress.com)
- Quentin Tarantino stems bloodflow in Django Unchained for Chinese market (guardian.co.uk)