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  • Are movies finished or abandoned?

    So, I really don't know wheter I should discuss this within the movie thread, but since this is more a general thing I think it needs it's own thread.

    I had a few friends over tonight for drinks and we got to discussing movies, now as it happens the discussion comes to the subject of movies and through discussing what movies we like or dislike and why we come to the subject of George Lucas and his belief that movies aren't finished, rather they are abandoned.

    This gives directors the 'right' or at least the option to edit the movie after the theatrical release. Now I this turned into a nice debate about the status of movies as works of art vs. their commercial value as a product. My belief is that once you show a movie to the public, it's done. You shouldn't change it. In my mind there should be only one cut of the film, the director's cut. And that is it.

    So go ahead and post your opinions!

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  • #2
    also if someone could add a question mark to the thread title that'd be nice.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Addict View Post
      also if someone could add a question mark to the thread title that'd be nice.
      Your wish is my command (most of the time).

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      • #4
        The Prequel Trilogy made me want to slit my wrists after seeing it. Is that sufficient answer?




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        • #5
          I liked the new ones better than the old ones. Effects >>>> Acting.



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          • #6
            Originally posted by CJSchneider View Post
            The Prequel Trilogy made me want to slit my wrists after seeing it. Is that sufficient answer?
            well yes, but the prequals are horrible. I had this one friend who thoroughly disagreed with my 'one cut'-beliefs, he basically believes that as a directer you have the right to 'go back' and add or subtract as you see fit. It's what Lucas does with (or to, depending on your point of view) the original star wars trilogy. As well as more and more 'cuts' of films showing. Old films are usually recut omitting scenes for age restriction removal, smoothness or whatever. The guiding principle here is that a movie, as a work of art, is never 'finished' but it's just 'abandoned'.

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            • #7
              I think that the directors objective is to tell the best and most entertaining story possible IMO and the studio's main objective is to produce the most profitable movies. Studio's don't pay directors to make the best movie possible, they pay them to make profitable films.

              In a perfect world, I agree there would just be one director's cut. It is the best example of the directors ability to present his own unique vision. Any scenes that they want are put in, and everything is how the director would want it.

              In reality though, the director doesn't always get the final say on all matters. The studio can put requirements on a lot of factors that can change the movie. The studio will change the movie in order to make the most money. They get to control what the public gets to initially see. They will make movies shorter so that people don't have to sit through a really long movie, even though it can hurt the overall quality of the film.

              The debate of art vs. commercial product is tough because the movie is paid for by people trying to make a product and created by people trying to make art. They have to work together to try to meet each of their goals. Ideally, it would just be art but reality of financing makes it a commercial item.


              I think that movies are often abandoned because the director is forced to. They have to reach a middle ground with the studio on what is in the movie so that it can be released. I think that directors should be able to go back and edit a movie if it is a lot different than what they were trying to do. I know a lot of movies are cut down so that they aren't too long and a lot of good scenes are left out.


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              • #8
                If the movie is terrible then I have no problem with them re-editing it. Classic films or even half way decent films shouldn't be messed with. Even George knew that the 1st prequel was garbage when he watched it. Maybe if he was able to edit post production it would have been a better movie. Noone will argue if it actually improves the film.
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                • #9
                  If I want Citizen Kane's last word to be "schwing" then "schwing" it's gonna be!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by broth223 View Post
                    If the movie is terrible then I have no problem with them re-editing it. Classic films or even half way decent films shouldn't be messed with. Even George knew that the 1st prequel was garbage when he watched it. Maybe if he was able to edit post production it would have been a better movie. Noone will argue if it actually improves the film.
                    one could argue that once a movie is bad a small edit won't save it.

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                    • #11
                      Star Wars prequels don't need an edit, they need an entire re-writing, re-filming, re-editing and change of director.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Job View Post
                        Star Wars prequels don't need an edit, they need an entire re-writing, re-filming, re-editing and change of director.
                        Exactly what I was thinking. I don't think completely eliminating Jar-Jar Binks character won't make it a good movie. Just more tolerable.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Job View Post
                          Star Wars prequels don't need an edit, they need an entire re-writing, re-filming, re-editing and change of director.
                          Winnah winnah chicken dinner for Job ............

                          The Sith & whichever one with Jar-Jar & his faux Jamaican accent were borderline unwatchable, tasteless, execrable Star Wars films. Too much fluff CG & editing, not enough stuff. Best of the lot was Empire Strikes Back b/c it was directed by Irvin Kershner, Lucas' former film school professor, Lucas was busy doing American Graffiti at the time. After the mid-80s & the horrible "just a'buncha muppets" ending to Return of the Jedi, Star Wars was about merchandising & < about filmaking.

                          I liked the early 60s Saturday morning kids show Fireball XL5 & with the 50s chic spaceships & literally wooden puppets >>>>>> Star Wars or Trek. But I have to give grudging kudos to the last Star Trek TOS origins film last summer -- it resurrected/saved the franchise.
                          Last edited by LizardState; 03-19-2010, 12:40 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Oh yeah the subject of this thread -- studios or production companies have been holding the final edit over directors' heads forever in Hollywood like the sword of Damocles. Directors have gone to court, gone to the press, threatened, had temper tantrums, whatever, but they never get the final cut. Only recently with the advent of the digital age of DVDs & later released director's cuts has it bebn cost effective & even popular to compile a director's cut with special features, etc.

                            Directors in the pre-videotape film era tried all kinds of maneuvers to circumvent this control over the released version, while producers & studios have claimed that directors never really finish any movie, like addicts who can't stop abusing controlled substances. In 1965 Sam Peckinpah filmed over 16 hrs. of film making Major Dundee in Mexico, & turned every bit of that footage into the studio's edit -- he tried to drown them with sheer volume. Released version was almost 3 hrs. of the final edit, when it flopped it was decried by the studio heads as "too long," thinking hte attention span of the viewing public was shorter by an hr or so... all the studies I've seen show just the opposite, the attention span of vierwers is getting longer & longer & the survey groups want longer & more complex (therefore theoretically more more entertaining) films.

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                            • #15
                              This isn't a moral or ethical issue, it's completely subjective, so I can only state facts and give my personal preference.

                              If a director has the legal rights to the film, then he can do whatever he wants. In the case of George Lucas and his horrible edits/additions to the original Star Wars triology, I wish he would've just left them alone, or at least made the original cuts available to those who didn't want to see all the garbage he added in later.

                              It would be nice in these situations if the originator would understand that his/her work is important to some people as-is, and leave open that original work as an option to those people. I don't like the arrogant stance that Lucas takes, basically saying "It's mine, I can do what I want and I don't care about anybody else." Technically that is true but it's made me think a lot less of him.

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