Wednesday, October 14, 2009


In this months Empire, which I found myself reading during a 4 hour delay at an airport, Stephen Soderbergh says this during a long interview:

"I edit stuff on my own, things that don't belong to me, just for fun, because it gives me that much pleasure. I have an hour and 50 minute version of Heavens Gate. I've got a mash-up of Hitchcocks Psycho and Van Sants Psycho, which I call Psychos."

I want to see both of those Soderbergh mash-ups. Psychos sounds especially great. what sort of radical cuts to Heavens Gate would a sensibility like Soderbergh's make? These should be extras on future dvds.

So that got me to thinking of other mash-ups, or radical re-edits that anybody with the right technology and enough time could do. Like that Jar Jar Binks-less version of The Phantom Menace some fanboy made back when anybody still cared about Phantom Menace and the fact that it had sucked so bad. For instance, a mash-up of Casino and Goodfellas focused on the Joe Pesci character, who is a broadly similar type in both movies. Or all three Lord of the Rings movies edited down into two hours, cutting out all the emotional bombast, most of the overlong, derivative battle scenes with their dodgy CGI and much of the windy, cod-Shakesperian speechifying about the 'age of man' etc. Would two hours even remain? I'm sure Soderbergh could find them.

Or how about a long, rambling Altman-esque London tale mashing all three of Woody Allen's London films into a multi-stranded panorama called Scoop Point Dream. They are all set in a tourist London of upper-middle class Kensington apartments and nights at the theatre mingling with the landed gentry unrecognisable to most people who actually live in the City, and the moral charge and erotic sizzle of Match Point might actually give Scoop some weight and make Cassandras Dream bearable. Or maybe not. The two utterly different characters played by Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, would turn the whole thing into a bizarre study of split personalities and social compartmentalisation. Sounds riveting.

The climax of Cinema Paradiso features a mash-up montage of sorts, and I envisage a similar scene, editing dozens of boxing scenes together, beginning in beautiful black and white with The Set-Up and moving through Champion and Somebody Up There Likes Me and Body and Soul and even Raging Bull - nothing but punches thrown and taken, feints and grapples, knock-outs and recoveries - before bursting into beautiful colour for Kid Galahad and continuing through Rocky and Fat City and Ali and Cinderella Man. It sounds like an advert, I know, but it would be a dazzling advert...

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home