Gondry's MOOD INDIGO Cut For International Release

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
International press on Michel Gondry's has been by and large unified on two fronts. One, the film is a meticulously crafted flight of fancy from a man who does meticulously crafted flights of fancy better than arguably anyone else on the planet. And, two, the original version of the film was overly long and required a knowledge of the source novel by Boris Vian that made it quite difficult to follow and perhaps a little tiresome for those who didn't have said knowledge.

Well, producers have attempted to address point two with a new version of the film which runs thirty six minutes shorter and is described as playing as a 'looser adaptation' that doesn't require advance knowledge of the story. According to a press release circulated in Australia and broken by Dark Horizons, this will now be the version of the film screened in all countries outside of France.

What nobody seems to know at this point was how involved Gondry himself was in this new version which leaves a whole lot of questions about whether this should be viewed as outside forces forcing changes, as just happened with Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer, or whether this is Gondry and the producers recognizing an issue with the first version of the film and taking steps to correct it.
Around the Internet:
  • Hiroaki Johnson

    I blame Harvey and the "Hollywood Mafia" for this.

  • I really hope you're joking, given that there is no Hollywood distributor involved at all, never has been, and this was a decision made solely between the producers and Studio Canal, who have been handling international sales.

  • Hiroaki Johnson

    I was making fun of the people with grand theories from the "Snow Piercer" article. Probably too dry for text.

    I should have said Zionist Illuminati instead of mafia to make it more obvious.

  • That was my gut reaction, given that it was you, but I end up having WAY too many of these conversations with people who see a conspiracy behind everything to make that assumption. Heh.

  • Simon Laperrière

    The press release is more or less accurate. L'ÉCUME DES JOURS already played in Quebec at the beginning of the summer in what I assume is the French cut. Here's hoping local BR will be uncut as well.

  • That would have to have been the French cut, yes, as my understanding is that the international cut has JUST been finished, really recently.

  • Kieran

    They are doing a "Mood Indigo" for Dummies ?

    I hate it when a movie is cut afterward ... Once, in a festival I almost strangled the french producer of this amazing Lithuanian movie "Vanishing waves" because he was PROUD to have cut out almost 45 minutes !?!?

  • It's impossible to say what they're doing without having seen the first version but if - as the press release implies - the French cut of the film assumes a high degree of familiarity with the source novel (which is not nearly as well known outside of France as it is inside) and then takes a lot of narrative shortcuts assuming that audiences will fill in the gaps with their knowledge of the book (and Gondry has NEVER been particularly focused on narrative) then you have a scenario where people who don't know the book (which is almost everyone in markets outside France) will never have a prayer of tracking what's happening and the film is a failure both creatively and financially. In which case, if Gondry and the producers were to recognize that and make a more coherent version for people who don't know the book, that's arguably a good thing. And it's no different than what directors like Wong Kar Wai - who pretty much never sees his films as finished in any sort of definitive way - have done throughout their careers.

    If it's just someone messing around for the sake of messing around, though, then blah.

  • Kieran

    Yes, you are quite right, but art needs a finishement and ... read Mood Indigo, the book is about getting lost and out of reality. The mere intention to make it more comprehensible is silly.

    It would have been like reediting Naked Lunch without the drugs and the monsters ;-)

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