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Is There Such A Thing As A Final Cut?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the this-post-to-be-re-edited-for-future-audiences dept.

Movies 475

heidi writes "There's an insightful article over at CNN's entertainment section about the tinkering of recent cultural history. Apparently, there is no such thing as a final draft any more, and author Todd Leopold does a great job of showing how this is revisionist history at its, well, oddest. Aside from the many examples he cites, such as the 'new' Capote novel and the changing of Star Wars to show that Greedo shot first, i can think of the 'new' Camus novel that i read a few years ago and the way that The Wizard of Oz had the 'ding dong the witch is dead' song edited out. In an era where our entertainment has come to define us and to fill, however (un)completely, the spiritual void that we inherited from the Boomers, messing with our stories isn't necessarily a positive thing, creative genius aside."

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Next into the editing room (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897517)


Now that Geoge Takei [imdb.com] has come out [mercurynews.com] , there will probably be some revision of Star Trek films [imdb.com] for some Red States, where it's still illegal to be a homosexual starship commander.

"Make it the commander Ronald Reagan."

Re:Next into the editing room (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897558)

Here's a link that does not require registration:

http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=8&id =353473 [japantoday.com]

The article also mentions the time he spent in a U.S. internment camp.

Re:Next into the editing room (3, Insightful)

loveandpeace (520766) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897679)

and what will all this re-editing and revision do to games like Star Wars Trivial Pursuit? man, there goes my one offline game :)

Colorizing testimony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897586)

There were senate hearings or something a decade or so ago when Turner started colorizing old westerns. One of the directors warned that technology could approach the ability to do just that, and that safeguards needed to be in place to preserve the original work.

Re:Colorizing testimony (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897662)

There were senate hearings or something a decade or so ago when Turner started colorizing old westerns. One of the directors warned that technology could approach the ability to do just that, and that safeguards needed to be in place to preserve the original work.

And Lucas certainly showed how to do that, editing out the actor who originally played Darth Vader, his face and likeness. I was rather disgusted by that tawdryness.

The author is but one voice (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897806)

Of course Han shot first. This whole "Greedo shot first" is nothing more than the opinion of George Lucas.

So what if he wrote the story? After he tells the story to me, it exists in my brain. The version in my brain is under my control. It ends however I want it to end.

Any well-told work transcends its author. To limit your interpretations of it to those in the mind of the author is to accept an outright blasphemous form of mental slavery.

A free mind has many voices, both inner and outer, and the author of a work of art is just one more outer voice.

Do not surrender your power.

Wha? (4, Funny)

MoxCamel (20484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897518)

There's an insightful article over at CNN's entertainment section...

I recognize all of these words individually, but strung together like this they make absolutely no sense.

(oh, and Han shot first...in bed.)

Mox

There's an old saying... (4, Interesting)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897525)

"Movies are never finished, only abandoned."

It's just not possible to get a movie -- or any artistic work, whether we're talking serious art or pop culture -- to the state where it's absolutely, 100% perfect. There's always some fine tuning, some tweaking, and at some point you have to say "That's it, we're done." It's not completely bug-free, but you've fixed all the big problems and you've gotta ship it sometime.

But with re-releases, DVDs, special screenings, etc. (and sufficient funding), people have the opportunity to go back and do a director's cut, or release two versions of a film (one short enough for theaters, one for people who can hit "pause" and take a bathroom break in the middle), or go back and fix that embarrasment of a first novel that you wrote when you were young and didn't understand the craft of writing as well as you do now.

Is this good or bad? I think it's neither. It's a tool. It can be used well, or used poorly. Sure, Lucas can go back and revise history so Greedo shoots first, but he can also go back and clean up the lousy compositing in the Rancor pit, fix the transparency in the Hoth battle sequences, etc.

Re:There's an old saying... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897545)

"Movies are never finished, only abandoned."

I used to say the same thing about software.

An application is Beta until it's retired.

Re:There's an old saying... (4, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897738)

Yes, but the flip side applies. Did the director choose to remove the "Witch is dead" song in the DVD version of OZ? (I think not, since Victor Fleming died in '49.) As such, who are we to mess with his work?

And where should we stop? Should we reprint and remove or rewrite politically uncorrect sequences and dialog from Anne Frank, Huck Finn, and Uncle Tom's cabin? I think not. Such revisionism hides whatever insights we might gain into the attitudes and social mores and culture of the time.

And in the case of, say, SW (ANH), replacing scenes and effects MAY make the movie look better, but it's not as we remembered it, and we lose all appreciation of the techniques and the cinematic "state of the art" available at the time. I still cringe every time I see the new, improved Death Star "ring" explosion.

Re:There's an old saying... (4, Insightful)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897760)

Should we reprint and remove or rewrite politically uncorrect sequences and dialog from Anne Frank, Huck Finn, and Uncle Tom's cabin?

As long as the original is still available, sure.

This post needs a revision (1, Informative)

neuroneck (591919) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897529)

CAPITALIZE I!

Re:This post needs a revision (0)

aicrules (819392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897564)

And please remove capitilzation on APITALIZE.

Re:This post needs a revision (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897652)

And please spell capitalization correctly.

Yes, there is! (2, Funny)

SnappingTurtle (688331) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897553)

Absolutely!

Some works are permanent and forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897561)

The bible for example.

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (2, Interesting)

AtomicRobotMonster (891499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897650)

This is a joke right?

The bible has been "translated" and revised throughout history. Not sure about holy works from other religions but I would imagine it is similar.

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897692)

Translated, yes; but can you show any tangible proof that it's been changed?

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897731)

Can you show tangible proof of what's claimed in it? No? So who cares about the bible? Fuck off with your fairy tales, fuck right off back to the Middle Ages.

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (5, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897828)

Let's see if i can remember a few things from the history class on the old testament i took in college. The mistranslation of "Reed Sea" into "Red Sea." There's a decent amount of evidence that Yahweh had a wife at one point but she got edited out later. There was at least one point where stuff was codified and a lot of stories, which were just as "valid" as the ones where were kept, were dropped for political or cultural reasons. It's been about six years since i took the class, but i can tell you for sure that anyone who thinks the bible hasn't ever changed is either a fundamentalist (and therefore willing to completly ignore historical evidence) or delusional.

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897831)

Yes .. you can .. see my post further down .. there have been arguments throughout the ages as to what should be included in the Bible.

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897832)

Yes; it's called the Apocrypha - where many books were edited out of the bible...

They also removed the "All characters in this book bear no resembelance to any persons living or dead" page from the start.

Re: Some works are permanent and forever (2, Interesting)

virtcert (512973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897766)

...And of course: perfect and immutable and perfectly translated into all languages regardless of time and culture.

Of course.

That would help explain why we can go to Bible.com search for 24 different English versions, and 91 International versions with links to 140 different language editions. Be sure to read #7 [paganwisdom.com] and #8 [paganwisdom.com] here [paganwisdom.com] :

Why My Religion is Right and Yours is Wrong [paganwisdom.com]
- or -
The Flawed Logic of "The One True Path" [paganwisdom.com]

[Full Disclosure: I wrote the linked article]

- Brian

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897792)

Hmm .. I think you only say that because you may be blind to the changes that have gone on in the past, and the changes that are currently going on.

In the begining (well maybe not that long ago) there were some pretty big arguments over what things went into the bible. For example one of these things were the Apocrypha, which were out then in then out again. (Do I see a directors cut/special edition cut that includes the sections that were dropped?)

Let alone the translation from whatever to Greek to Latin to English .. to modern day English to ebonics (and I am sure there is one out there). Each translation will change the sense of the text depending on who it was who translated it. As a comparison ... run something twice through babel fish and see what comes out.

I just found this interesting link The Pre-Reformation History of the Bible From 1,400 BC to 1,400 AD [greatsite.com]

So to say that the Bible is permanent and forever is misleading and ignorrant of the history of that document.

Re:Some works are permanent and forever (1)

Denyer (717613) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897805)

Parent was intended as a quick troll, I know, but those with more interest might want to google "Council of Carthage".

a tad unrelated, but in a similar vein.. (2, Insightful)

jkind (922585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897563)

Did it make you cringe when you first heard one of your favorite songs used in a car commercial?? Damn you Modest Mouse, damn you...
To me, the final cut for music should be when they put it out on CD.. , with alterations allowed when I pay to see the performer live...
Not some 45 second edit of the song, playing the backdrop for a LandRover commercial.

Like a ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897761)

Like a rock. Damn you GM.

Actually I should curse the DJs that cut it off before the "20 years now, where'd they go". Being on the downhill side of 38, I identify with the latter half of the song.

"Sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they've gone

And sometimes late at night
When I'm bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin' a ghostly white
And I recall
Recall

Like a rock. standin' arrow straight
Like a rock, chargin' from the gate
Like a rock, carryin' the weight
Like a rock ..."

Hmmmm (1)

SandMonkey (926467) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897565)

In a way it's good that a director can go back to their film and put bits in that they had orgionally intended to be in the movie, but as with star wars they have to be careful that the don't alienate existing fans...

I must have missed something (4, Insightful)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897566)

"Ding, dong, the witch is dead" was edited out of The Wizard of Oz? I don't get it. Why?

Re:I must have missed something (2, Funny)

demopolis (872666) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897621)

"Ding, dong, the witch is dead" was edited out of The Wizard of Oz? I don't get it. Why?

Hillary Clinton got offended.

Re:I must have missed something (4, Funny)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897700)

The Anti-defamation League of Practitioners of the Magickal Arts (note: they are old school and demand the old spelling of "Magickal") threatened to sue over that scene, saying "It is hate speech. It encourages violence against our membership, and is emotionally painful our many members who have lost friends and loved ones to the deprivations of wandering, improperly supervised small children."

When the MPAA and studio initially refused to comply, the ADLPotMA representative turned the MPAA lawyer into a newt - a change many felt was for the better.

Re:I must have missed something (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897810)

I call BS, there's no mention of it being cut in:
http://imdb.com/title/tt0032138/alternateversions [imdb.com]

Not to mention, "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead" is #82 on the AFI's list of Top 100 Songs.

What they do say is:
"Original preview versions of "The Wizard of Oz" ran several minutes longer than the current version; These are the scenes that were cut or shortened to reduce the running time. These scenes were never included in any officially released version of the film: ...
A scene where the four main characters return to the Emerald City with the witch of the west's broomstick (including a reprise of "Ding Dong, The Witch is dead!") was cut. Only the song survived; the footage no longer exists (except a shot or two that can be found in the theatrical trailer)."

And according to wikipedia:
"Originally, the crew returned to the Emerald City to a "hero's welcome", with everyone singing "The Wicked Witch is Dead". This too was cut after early previews. Footage of this scene no longer exists, except for a few frames seen in a later re-issue trailer."

Shakespeare... (2, Interesting)

jaylee7877 (665673) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897570)

Legend holds that Shakespeare *never* rewrote any of his plays or poems. He didn't even bother to cross out anything as he wrote. But then, we're not all Shakespeare's are we? Still I think there's something to be said for leaving well enough alone. When we change what we believe is a flaw, it also changes much of the original genius and beauty of a work.

Re:Shakespeare... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897725)

This legend is completely unfounded. There are many versions of most of Shakespeare's plays, and quite a few of them are considered to be revisions by himself.

Not to mention that some works are collaborations and "borrowings" from other authors, which may have been reworked later, etc.

Re:Shakespeare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897727)

Eh? Theres a long, long history of people messing about with Shakespear plays, giving them happy endings etc... etc... It's not exactly a good example of final version stability.

Re:Shakespeare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897740)

*Urban* legend, you mean.

Re:Shakespeare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897829)

After Shakespeare died, folks would say that he "never blotted a line." Jonson replied (in Timber, the source for this story) "would that he had blotted a thousand!" Jonson, though, was quite jealous of Shakespeare, who lacked the university education Jonson had and yet was still more successful, more respected, and (as even Jonson grudgingly recognized) more talented.

Regardless, there are signs of revision all over Shakespeare's plays - as well as signs of things that should have been revised but weren't. The two versions of Lear are a perfect example. So no, Shakespeare is not a good counterexample to this at all.

As for those who claim that various titled relatives, friends, or acquaintances of Shakespeare actually wrote the plays, they're idiots - we've found a huge percentage of the sources for the allusions in Shakespeare's plays, models for plots, etc., and they're all sources that would have been available to a middle-class grammar-school educated man of the time (remember that grammar school in 16th century England was quite a bit more demanding than it is today).

better say... (1)

nazsco (695026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897580)

> from the this-post-to-be-re-edited-for-future-audiences dept.

from the this-post-to-be-re-edited-for-the-very-same-audien ce dept.

In Related News... (5, Funny)

jeffvoigt (866600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897584)

The Louvre announced that it was lowering the bustline of the Mona Lisa to attract more visitors.

Uncomplete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897587)

Why, that's uncorrect.

As long as the original remains the original (1)

geraldkw (534863) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897592)

It's fine to go back and rework something to make it better as long as the reworked version is labeled as such. I think it is deceptive to present something as the "classic Hollywood masterpiece" as some stations do and then show a version which has been edited for content (other than swear words and nudity in the case of the networks).

Hollywood as a business (1)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897594)

Sure, artistic tinkering is nice and all. Get that movie to match up more exactly with your vision just like a software update. The reason that this happens is because it is profitable. How many people bought the first DVD of Lord of the Rings and then bought the extended version when it came out months later? An 'updated' release allows the movie companies to pretend that there's something really new and start a marketing campaign. Not unlike drug companies finding 'new' uses for their drugs in order to extend the patent.

As long as people keep buying them, they'll keep producing them.

Mod parent up (1)

geekpuppySEA (724733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897817)

Not just because I was thinking the same thing, though - but because you have to think of culture in monetary terms, because that's how the producers treat it. There's not much call these days for soap operas done on cuneiform, but it's not because it's an outmoded communicative medium - it's because people wouldn't buy it. However, there's huge bank to be had in reworking already-filmed-&-paid-for pieces that maybe a few more collectors will buy. (Not sure about the drug company analogy though honestly.)

1984 (5, Insightful)

jimjamjoh (207342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897596)

How prophetic Orwell was...

Re:1984 (2, Insightful)

aicrules (819392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897690)

However, this prophetic talent will be obscured greatly when the remake (and rewrite) of 1984 is done for the 30th anniversary.

Re:1984 (1)

AnonymousKev (754127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897713)

>How prophetic Orwell was...

What do you mean by that? We've always been at war with Eurasia. I may have to report you to MiniPax.

Soon no actors will be needed (4, Interesting)

dptalia (804960) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897599)

This reminds me of Connie Willis's book Remake [amazon.com] . In it acting is a dead profession. People merely edit films to create new releases. The main character has a job removing all references to smoking from Casablanca (I think it was Casablanca, maybe it was a different movie). Due to having cut out other unwanted material (such as violence, racism, drinking, etc) the movie was down to under 30 minutes in length.

Unfortunately with political correctness becoming the norm, I don't see things like this not happening. Anti smoking advocates already scream if a movie shows a "good guy" smoking. How hard would it be to start protesting old movies that contain positive images of smoking?

Blazing Saddles (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897603)

What they have been showing of TV just isn't the same anymore. There's a whole lot of stuff involving Mongo that got cut out. Much of it is some of the funniest stuff in the movie.

Sad really.

Re:Blazing Saddles (1)

shotgunefx (239460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897736)

With Mongo? I can remember lot's of offensive (and hilarious) things in that movie, but can't think of too much with Mongo.

Re:Blazing Saddles (1)

b3x (586838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897774)

On a a similiar note, I woke up early one sunday morning, and Vacation was on TNT, they had just pulled into the cousins house, so I was watching and waiting for the see-saw scene (i french kiss, everyone does that, daddy says i am the best) Well they cut it out. Undeniably the funniest scene in that movie, and they cut it out. Sad ...

These are movies (2, Interesting)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897606)

I would be much more concerned about the manipulation of the news footage we use to obtain information about what's going on in the world. Those who control that medium, control public opinion and can pacify the masses, whilst marginalizing dissent.

As for movies, these are art - as the artist sees fit, they can muck about with their creations. Ownership though, can be a little fuzzy, if for example the rights are owned by a company and not an individual.

Uncompletely? (2, Insightful)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897613)

Unpossible! Seriously, stop hiring 15 year olds as editors. Some of us actually paid enough attention in school to learn how to spell.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1)

SamSeaborn (724276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897618)

I'm all for director's cuts and special editions and all that. But what's with Lucas *re-titling* RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to INDIANA JONES AND THE ...

This revisionist film-making has to stop.

Sam

Obligatory Simpson's Quote (4, Funny)

hotspotbloc (767418) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897641)

From "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" (1F19)
(Homer watches "Free Willy" at the hotel.)

Homer: Jump, Free Willy. Jump! Jump with all your might!
[on the TV, Willy jumps over a rock barrier as a little boy smiles, but a shadow looms on his face and the smile turns to fear]
Woman: Oh, no. Willy didn't make it. And he crushed our boy!
Man: Ew. What a mess.
Homer: Ohh, I don't like this new director's cut.

History is 5 nines irrelevant (3, Funny)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897644)

99.999% of the past is not just irrelevant, but harmful, in my opinion.

Do we ever learn that politicians are liars?

Do we ever learn that war is worthwhile?

Do we ever learn to marry the right person at the right time?

Do we ever learn to stop making video games about blockbuster movies?

To me, change is good. As a society, my fellow citizens are more and more unable to adapt. Look at steel tariffs and help desk outsourcing.

Our best 0.001% of anything never need changes. The rest is dust in the wind. Take an imperfect story, product or relationship and keep redoing it unitil it is perfect for the parties involved. Future generations should do the same.

That's why I hate copyright, patents and government licensing.

Re:History is 5 nines irrelevant (2, Interesting)

DesireCampbell (923687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897735)

The soulution is not to re-image the past to look like we knew what to do all along - it's to strive ahead and create new peices that show we've learned.

Re-writing your first book is the stupidest idea ever. Just write a new one.

Connie Willis (2, Interesting)

Tony (765) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897682)

Connie Willis wrote about this years ago, in a novella called "Remake." In it, an angst-ridden young man working for some hollywood company digitally edits old movies based on the mores and whims of the whatever passes for political correctness. For instance, throughout most of the story, he's editing scenes in old movies, taking out all references to alchohol. He digitally changes drinks into... other things.

It predates the Steven Spielberg South Park episode by several years, but otherwise is almost identical. Guns replaced with walkie-talkies. That's just funny.

Just take a look at Wired (3, Interesting)

doombob (717921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897691)

Just take a look at a few of this last years issues of Wired Magazine. A couple of the covers talk about the "remix culture." And articles on the inside are all about Creative Commons, Remixing ideas, Freeing IP (not addresses). Right now it seems culture is in an "unstable state." It like we want to try new things, but just can't seem to let go of the cultural items of the past. So we rework those things that are "safe" and "comfortable." Just give it a couple years for the influence of Baby Boomers to fade from entertainment, media, etc. and then we should have another influx of new ideas.

At the risk of a rantfest: IP's the problem (4, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897694)

And there's the real victim of where we seem to be headed with intellectual property: our cultural history.

Picture the broadcast flag, coupled with on-demand movies. Toss in changes of the medium du jour crippled with mostly effective DRM, and you're losing history left and right. There's a new release of, say, E.T. on Blu-Ray. Everyone (not literally everyone, of course, but you get the idea) replaces their old, worn-out VHS (or Beta, in the case of my parents) tapes. Now there's very little evidence that there were ever guns in the movie.

Or pay-per-view/on demand becomes the common way of watching movies. The broadcast flag prevents keeping a copy, of course. So all you'll ever be able to see is the latest version of the movie. Hell, look at Dumbo: can you even buy a copy of the movie that still has the crows singing? They certainly don't show it on television.

Or how about Aladdin? I can't be the only person who remembers the opening song's lyric containing a line about cutting off your hand for stealing a loaf of bread. But good luck proving that it ever even existed - to the best of my knowledge, that didn't even make into the first release of the movie to stores, much less subsequent ones.

The more consumers lose control of the media they consume - not being able to make/keep copies, being forced into a subscription model of media delivery - the more this is going to happen. We've got the technical capacity right now to preserve a closer-to-perfect record of our culture than has ever existed in human history, and we're wasting it. It's being lost to political correctness, revisionist history, and George Lucas.

Re:At the risk of a rantfest: IP's the problem (1)

virtcert (512973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897814)

Just wait until e-books become the norm, coupled with wireless distribution, auto-updating and DRM.

You'll never be sure if you've actually read the books in your library (in their present form) or not.

  - Brian

Re:At the risk of a rantfest: IP's the problem (4, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897818)

I can't be the only person who remembers the opening song's lyric containing a line about cutting off your hand for stealing a loaf of bread.

Actually, the line was "Where the cut off your hand if they don't like your face" changed to "where the land is immense and the heat is intense".

Something very similar (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897697)

"A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking" --Martin H. Fischer

What People Don't Realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897714)

... is that George Lucas shot first! He got Star Wars out before anyone else got the concept down so, like it or not, he can do what he wants with it -- revised super special 3D edition etc.

But if someone with a time machine could go back and give Steven Spielberg the idea to a sci-fi/fantasy six-part trilogy beginning in the middle...

The Origin of Species (2, Insightful)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897754)

This is nothing new. To give a serious example, Charles Darwin issued six different editions [wikipedia.org] of The Origin of Species during his lifetime. Each new edition contained material in response to reactions to previous editions. The phrases "evolution" and "survival of the fittest" were first introduced in these follow-on editions.

Most of these changes improved the book, but some did not. So, which edition is "definitive"?

Lucas lost it (2, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897763)

This is a shout out to any lame asses (you know who you are) who can \stomach\ episode IV with the ultra lame-dick \enhancements\ that were added. Get a life and watch the original. When I saw the "gee-wiz, look what I can do with FX" krap that was added, I almost blew chunks. Sure, deride me all you want you cultural cretins, but the original episode IV was a film making landmark, that Lucas in his divine SkyWalker Ranchette wisdom peed all over with his \enhancements\.

Final Cuts Are A Recent Invention (5, Interesting)

OttoSink (815142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897782)

Back in the day (about 200 years ago) a composer like Beethoven revised his symphonies between performances. The idea of having a "final cut" probably grew out of the use of mass production to make copies. Given the Internet, we will probably see far fewer "final cuts" in the future.

Cartoons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897796)

Disney is notorious for "erasing" Song of the South, and other movies.

Here [rotten.com] is an interesting article on censored cartoons. Yes, it's Rotten.com, but I promise there's no gore or nudity, just some examples of racist images from the cartoons.

The most drastic ruin the artists intention (1)

fak3r (917687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897802)

Let's not forget Gillian's Brazil; completed edited ending which changed the whole tone of the story. The DVD box set is very illuminating just to see the 'original' vs the studio forced 'happy ending' version. As the old saying goes, the marriage of art and commerence is a an awkward one. Of course there will always be purests on the other side raising the red flag. For me it's the CD 'reissues' where they tack on 'bonus songs' after the original album, it's so frustrating! Think if they did a perfect reproduction print of a Picasso for sale; and then tacked on some sketches that he worked on around the same time on top of the print! It ruins the whole artistic design and mars the original. The only exception to this is when the 'artist' reissues stuff, with the freedom to produce the art as they originally wanted, as with my Brazil example above, there have been a few of those in music, but not enough.

Version numbers on everything (1)

humankind (704050) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897808)

I think, just like software, other forms of media should have numeric version numbers. This way, when the "developer" ruins future releases, we can easily refer back to earlier, superior versions. /missing Journalism version 1.0

Make revisions optional (1)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 8 years ago | (#13897815)

I don't mind when extra footage is available. I liked seeing the extra footage in "Lord of the Rings" extended version, for example. One of my favorite things to do is to watch the outtakes in the bonus material on a DVD. Some extra clips are good, some you can see why it was left out of the finished movie. A lot of times, I wish that I could play the movie with the option of adding back in those outtakes.

I feel they should leave it to the viewer as to whether or not they want to see the original version or the revised version. With digital technology, couldn't they have two versions on a DVD: one version with all the chapters, including the revisions, and one version that leaves out the extra chapters? It seems like that would be fairly simple to do (though I don't really know the technology behind that). That way, the consumer gets what they want, and the studios could sell to both camps, possibly increasing their sales in the process.

Unfortunately, I know that is a naive wish, because Directors are Artists (with a capital A), and they want to have the final say on their Grand Vision.

What about Stephen King's Dark Tower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13897841)

Some revisionist things are OK. Look at Stephen King's Dark Tower. He went back and edited the first books because he wanted to tighten up a few loose ends after finishing the series some 20-odd years later. That kind of change sure makes sense to me.

However, I don't agree with cutting things out of movies that are not PC, etc. That's crap.

  - RevRagnarok (cannot login from work)
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