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April 10, 2006


David Lowery mentioned a Washington Post article which reports that the DVD version of Lodge Kerrigan's Keane will come with an alternate cut of the film edited by Steven Soderbergh, who had a different take on how the narrative should be shaped. In the Post, Micheal O'Sullivan describes Keane as a sort of psychological drama focusing on a father looking for his six-year old daughter. The film deploys the handheld camera and cinema-verite style favored by Soderbergh is his independent projects such as Bubble. According to Soderbergh:

"While I was away on location, Lodge sent me a copy of 'Keane' to look at before he locked picture. I loved the film and told him so, but I also sent him this version to look at, in case it jogged anything (it didn't). In any case, we agreed it was an interesting (to us) example of how editing affects intent. Or something."
O'Sullivan's Post article offers further details about the different versions, but I'm waiting until I see both versions before I comment further (and that may take awhile). As Soderbergh notes, the experiement can say a lot about the role of editing in shaping a film, but I think it can also point to the ways in which no film is completely final, an approach that often guides Soderbergh's approach to filmmaking. I like the idea of imagining films with "version 2.0, recut, rescored," and while recutting or reshaping a film is nothing new, it's intriguing to think about how certain films might be re-imagined. I'm especially intrigued by the idea of one auteur, Soderbergh. reworking a film by another director, Kerrigan. More later when I've had more caffiene or, better, more sleep.

Posted by chuck at April 10, 2006 4:39 PM

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The DVD is actually out, Chuck, and I actually screened the first 15 min. or so in my film class last Friday. They have an assignment to respond to the clips, and I plan to blog about the results. Stay tuned....

Posted by: Marc at April 10, 2006 6:19 PM

Cool. I'll be curious to know how it goes. I think I knew it was out, but I have a very long Netflix queue. Maybe I need to get myself to a video store.

Posted by: Chuck at April 10, 2006 6:48 PM

I read about this, too, Chuck. And I'm thinking about using it for my postproduction course in the fall. They'll mostly do editing projects, but I am thinking this might make a great 'think piece' on the power of editing to change meaning/story. I haven't watched the two versions yet, so once I do, I am thinking of incorporating that (as well as Terry Gilliam's Brazil -- since the Criterion Collection edition has his cut as well as the studio's much-maligned "love conquers all" cut).

Posted by: Chris at April 11, 2006 12:43 PM

That sounds like an interetsing approach, Chris. Trying to think of other films (Blade Runner and Touch of Evil come to mind) that have disputed cuts. I think the deleted scenes on DVD also contribute to this kind of discussion.

For whatever reason, I've been fascinated by Soderbergh re-doing Kerrigan and wonder what it would be like for other directors to re-work the films of others (i.e., what would happen if Scorsese re-edited Coppola?).

Posted by: Chuck at April 11, 2006 2:24 PM

Or--what if Speilberg re-edited Kubrick. Oh, wait....

Posted by: Jim at April 11, 2006 2:46 PM

Okay, so it's not always a good idea.

Posted by: Chuck at April 11, 2006 2:57 PM

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