Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mikloś Jancsó (and the latest edit)

Last weekend we went up to London to see the great Mikloś Jancsó in person at the Curzon Mayfair and the Curzon Soho, as part of the Curzon /Second Run Jancsó festival. The great man was in very fine form, especially considering he is 86 (and certainly doesn't look it or act it). Apart from answering questions about The Round-Up, which was screening to celebrate its release on DVD, Jancsó talked about some of his ideas about film. He complained that many films don't give the viewer enough time to think, which I can heartily agree with. The point of most Hollywood cinema (and western culture/consumerism in general) is not to make people think. If you stop to think, you realise what a pile of crap it all is, and they don't want that, offering instead the vicarious, emotionally dead pleasures of shallow, poorly conceived stories that basically reinforce the status quo, or what Philip K. Dick called the Empire. (A term also used by Alain Badiou - thanks Nathan!) It is of course tempting to add the word 'Evil' before that word. There are a lot of them out there. We need - indeed, must have, films that make us think. And not just films - anything that makes us think: books, art, music, media (the list could go on...).

I was reminded of all this the night before last when I finally got round to watching the latest cut of Folie. The new version of the film certainly made me think, perhaps because it's the first new edit we've had a in a few months, so it was akin to seeing the film for the first time. I found myself wanting to know what was going on in these characters' heads, what their pasts were like - something that would be killed by the inclusion of voice-over. So, in a U-turn worthy of any government (and they're nearly all despicable), I have now decided to omit voice-over from the film, which also means that the dreams will be cut as well. Actually, it's the other way round: watching the film the other night made me realise that the dreams really have to go; they're darlings that simply have to be murdered. I think the film will be better without them. And hopefully it will make people think more, which must surely be a good thing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Latest Edit

Got the latest edit from the FTP server last night. At only 2GB, it managed to download OK even with my rather slow broadband (surely an oxymoron?). Anyway, the film is looking good - nearly there I hope. For the first time in cutting, instead of getting shorter, it is now getting longer. This present edit is 89 minutes, which is a couple of minutes longer than the last version. We want something that's just right, of course; a lot of the decisions we now need to make are trying to strike a balance between style and story. I'm quite pleased that some shots have been held way beyond their 'normal' time, but obviously we can't do that with every single shot, so I need to try and reign in my desire to make this Weston-super-Mare's answer to Sátántangó. (Maybe that will be a DVD extra...)