Has watching a director’s cut on DVD changed your opinion of the original film?
Has watching a director’s cut on DVD ever changed your opinion of the original film? — Ken
No, it hasn’t, though part of that is that unless a movie was butchered as badly as Orson Welles’ 1958 Touch of Evil, I have no real desire to see the original film changed. Recently, I watched the extended edition of Ray, which has won a fair amount of acclaim. Yes, a few of the new scenes were fascinating, but even these value-added dramatic tidbits simply presented, in an overly explicit way, themes that were already present with greater subtlety (Ray’s control-freak sternness as a bandleader, the recklessness of his heroin habit), and too many of them threw off the film’s trajectory. Over the years, I’ve preferred Brazil, Close Encounters, Apocalypse Now, Manhunter, and many other films in their original form to their vaunted director’s cuts, since even the meatiest new scenes tend to take away more than they add. What I’m really saying is that they muck up our memories of what a film is. And that’s not worth it.
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