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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 10.22.10] news

International cuts, directors cuts, unrated cuts. All this cutting makes you wonder how any filmmakers keep working today, making movies that may never be seen as they intended. The trend seems to be to cut a different version for everyone to take a bigger piece of the market share. But when is too much too much? Granted, the edit that brought this discussion to mind isn’t going to mean the death of the film but it did make me wonder.

According to the folks at Film Business Asia, via Wildgrounds, is that the so called international version of Takashi Miike’s fantastic 13 Assassins (review), the version I saw at the Vancouver Film Festival a few weeks ago, is shorter, by 17 minutes, than originally intended, missing a bordello scene.

Admittedly, I didn’t notice the missing scene and had I not seen this news, never would have known that it was missing to begin with, but now that I know it was intended and that I didn’t get to see it, I feel cheated of those 17 minutes. But what of the films that do suffer from their editing? Is it any wonder John Woo’s Red Cliff, only one of the more recent examples, felt like such a mess after being cut down from 4 hours to 2? The problem seems to generally be associated with international films but home grown productions sometimes suffer the same fate, giving rise to this idea of the “unrated” cuts which, when they do occasionally reach the screen, cause a whole heck of commotion.

So when is it ok to start editing movies just because some audiences won’t appreciate or understand certain bits? Is it ever acceptable or should audiences be more open minded? What of the fact that most foreign films are watched by people who seek them out? It’s not like you browse the shelf at your favourite store (or online shop) and decide to randomly see that new Japanese film. We, Quiet Earth readers, do, but the general population? Not so much.

Am I the only one miffed by this over editing? Sound off folks.

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John (12 years ago) Reply

When I was younger, I did not understand the point of making a cut, than a recut, then the extended, rated, unrated, Japanese, Theatrical, European, US Theatrical, and many other versions.
Growing up, I came to appreciate all of them, as I became an avid collector, and fan of certain directors, their way of cutting and publishing their art, and came to understand, that they as artists are far from being understood at why and when they pick a moment to issue something that was not seen by anyone before.
Naively I thought first cash, marketing rehash, return to the name fame board, but no, I came to a conclusion that art like most of life has its unpredictable ( for us at least ) course, which if you ride on its train, and do not take your station leads you to unexplored territories you'd least expected to visit.
Thus the prime examples of all versions I proudly own are Blade Runner and Apocalypse now, THE EXORCIST, which if you search a bit are many and all different.
Now lets name a few more extended, cut: The Warriors, THX 1138, Natural Born Killers, Robocop, Amadeus.
Not many movies have their cuts, but those that do; you can rest assured are the quality ones, for imagination purpose lets say you saw Silence of the lambs, Hannibal, Oldboy, Matrix 1 & 2( yes there are deleted scenes there ), in some cuts or extensions, to fill the gaps your imagination did.

For me that would be awesome, for some, a bother, and that is why diversity is a beautiful thing.

Best regards,



Andy (12 years ago) Reply

John does bring a good point about Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner, but these are films re-cut by the director himself.

I prefer seeing the director's personal interpretation of the film he makes, not the vision those who pay for rights to it.

I want to see what Miike created, and I want to see it in it's completeness.

Thankfully there is an international version of Red Cliff for this reason!


Anonymous (11 years ago) Reply

"Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" (a Ghibli film, pleasingly post-apocalyptic). If you've seen the original, you would recognise some of its spirit lurking in the film "Warriors of the Wind" which was the American hatchet job (there's no polite way to describe the mess they made of the film). It was so bad that, following, Ghibli has a strict no edits policy on their releases. Damn right too, what would "Pom Poko" be without flying testicles? ;-)

Seriously - I find the idea of editing "for cultural sensitivities" or "for commercial reasons" to be dubious at best. Edit, if necessary, to appease a film classification censor, but no more. The idea of kids sent to an island to battle each other to death might be repugnant to some. Simple answer, don't watch it. Broadcast it late. To release an editing mess will just send us running to the nearest Torrent so we can watch the thing the way the director intended. And yet we'd be classed the thieves, while it is the studios/distributors/broadcasters (delete as applicable) that are robbing us from the film we are supposed to be enjoying.
Seriously, if you can pick up a cheap copy of "Warriors of the Wind" on tape from Amazon or the like, do so, for it is the complete and total argument of why arbitrary cutting is evil. Not a missing 17 minute film, but an entirely different film pasted together from the rotting carcass of something that was great before the scissors arrived. I'm not joking.

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