the countries of old men drift like the waters
April 9, 2010 10:59 AM   Subscribe

A Tale of Two Films. Bertrand Tavernier's In The Electric Mist nee Dans la brume électrique

Beloved and revered in France as a director and writer, Tavernier was excited to direct his first film in English since Round Midnight and his first American shoot since Mississippi Blues. But Tavernier ended up battling with the studio and the star over how the film should look and feel, eventually leading to a dual release. One in the United States, one everywhere else (translation). One was praised, the other somewhat panned.

Now the director's cut of the film is being shown at festivals and on cable in the US, and Tavernier has written an entire book about his experiences. (Page Translation). Perhaps a resurrection is in on the horizon, at least as an example of the current status of art films in the United States.
posted by Potomac Avenue (6 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
15 minutes cut is not enough. I'll wait for the summary in rap form.

Snark aside: interesting solution to appeasing (what is perceived as) different markets.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:11 AM on April 9, 2010


Huh. I saw it in France when I was bored (only film with a convenient show time) hoping it would at least be dubbed so I wouldn't straight-up be watching an American film, but it had subtitles. I had no idea I saw a different version. (? I assume I saw the international version.)

It was okay, but not great - it suffered from book-to-filmitis and was pretty uneven. Tommy Lee Jones was good.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:00 PM on April 9, 2010


Snark aside: interesting solution to appeasing (what is perceived as) different markets.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:11 PM on April 9


It is not the purpose of art to appease, either the audience or the patron. And the only appeasement here was of a narrow-minded US producer.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:50 PM on April 9, 2010


"It is not the purpose of art to appease, either the audience or the patron..."

However, many artists (including most of the great composers of classical music) have seen fit to revise and re-revise their works in order to improve the reception by others. It's not always possible to get everything right the -first- time. (Beethoven wrote 4 overtures for Fidelio). Which one is the 'real' one?

And now we live in an era when multiple endings are possible, and can be chosen by the audience. When music can mixed, remixed, re-released with abandon. Does such a prospect diminish the authenticity of artistic statements?

Could be an interesting discussion around that.
posted by Twang at 7:48 PM on April 9, 2010


It is not the purpose of art to appease, either the audience or the patron. And the only appeasement here was of a narrow-minded US producer.

Appease, no, you are correct. But an artist who considers nothing about the audience may as well just hold salons in her closet.

I have tried to like Tavernier's films, but he ruined one of Jim Thompson's greatest noir novellas, Pop. 1280, and I've never quite forgiven him for that.
posted by beelzbubba at 5:58 AM on April 10, 2010


Interesting approach.

It is not the purpose of art to appease, either the audience or the patron.

Maybe not, but art certainly often functions that way, for any number of reasons, with varying degrees of success.

And the only appeasement here was of a narrow-minded US producer.

No snark intended here, but when I see the cancelled check Tavernier sends to charity, equal to his share of the profits on these films, I'll agree.
posted by Rykey at 9:16 AM on April 10, 2010


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