Sunday, October 21, 2007
The Cutting Edge
Somewhere, James Wolcott is gagging: both Adam Gopnik and David Denby are featured in this week's New Yorker. While Denby's is standard Eeyorian fare from The Man Who Mistook a Movie for a Meteor (Wolcott's words), Gopnik's piece at least has an interesting subject in the novel abridgements, director's cuts and DVD commentaries that are all the rage. As usual it's hard to tell Gopnik's point without sending a canary down the mineshaft, but speaking personally director's cuts are usually marginally interesting at best and delusional egotism at worst. I never saw the theatrical release of The 40-Year-Old Virgin--which I understand was overlong to begin with--but watching the Extended Smut-O-Version, much as I enjoyed it, I found myself making mental edits in my head all the way through. Virtually the only filmmaker who has earned the right to release longer movies is the godfather of the director's cut himself, Ridley Scott. Of course Blade Runner is the most famous example of a film that flopped originally in theaters, thanks in part to studio hacking and tampering, but has since become a classic after being restored (more than once) to Scott's original vision. I also recall not thinking much of Gladiator when it first came out. When I saw the extended edition (about 20 minutes longer), I couldn't believe how much better it was, how smoother the transitions from scene to scene were, how much more depth and shading were given the characters.
Gopnik's essay also had me thinking of something else: How much adding or editing bloggers do to their posts after they're published? Rarely have I written a post where I didn't go back and make a correction or change a word to what seems like a better one. Is this typical for most bloggers, or do you tend to leave your stuff as is?