Bill Forsyth

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Re: Bill Forsyth

#26 Post by connor » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:47 am

Does anyone know if a director's cut even exists of Being Human? The released version doesn't work, but it's very effective moment-to-moment.

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Re: Bill Forsyth

#27 Post by Calvin » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:28 pm

I believe that Forsyth's initial 160 minute cut was shown to test audiences, but whether or not it still exists in Warner's vaults is another matter. Were they in the habit of throwing out deleted material in the early 90s? Either way, I suspect it would take someone like Criterion or the BFI to be interested in order for us to ever see it.

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Re: Bill Forsyth

#28 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:54 am

That does sound something that Mark Kermode should get onto ASAP as his next project, if such a thing were possible.

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Re: Bill Forsyth

#29 Post by whaleallright » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:33 am

I just can't imagine there are enough people with enough interest in seeing Forsyth's cut of this film to fund a reconstruction and rerelease, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

Having read the script (which is a fascinating read— it's quite consciously literary, with very long descriptive passages, much of them suggesting interior states of characters), I think the legend of the studio having "hacked [the film] to pieces" is overblown. True, there's an entire other historical episode that's missing from the released version (was this even filmed?), but otherwise it is pretty close. Most of the beats that simply don't work, don't work in the script either, and the overall conception remains, to my mind, pretty flaky in script and film. That said, there are enough lovely moments, and the film is strange enough, to make it well worth watching.

It strikes me that Bill Forsyth may, at the time at least, have undervalued what made his work special—not just his humor but a kind of unforced lyricism and limpidity—and sought to make a very different sort of film (and out-and-out art film; at times Being Human reminds me of The Piano—similar trappings in the score and production design for sure), one he frankly wasn't particularly good at making.

On a separate note, Local Hero would seem to be a no-brainer for Criterion, no?

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