Last week, it was announced that the US home video release of Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster would only consist of the 108-minute re-edited version of the film created for the American market by its distributor Weinstein Company rather than the director’s 130-minute cut of the film which played virtually everywhere else.
On Thursday, the film played at the London Film Festival as a surprise feature with Weinstein in attendance. Turns out he had a few things to say in his introduction to the film, and Screen was there to catch a key comment from Weinstein that seems directed at those who were critical of the shortened edit of the film.
This is the love, joy and amazing relationship that Kar Wai has with space, time and memory in this movie….We tried to keep it as chronologically as we could and at the end of the day, who gives a shit? It’s beyond belief watching the artistic cinema that he did.
Well, I have news for Harvey. There are a lot of us out there that do give a shit. I’ve seen criticism of the US edit on a number of film blogs and on podcasts. Those who are interested in film on more than just a surface, entertainment level would rather see Kar-Wai’s original cut rather than a watered-down version created because the distributor, that would be you, has a low opinion of the potential audience for the film.
Many of us will also be the ones who will be spending our money not on the butchered version you are releasing in the US market on DVD and blu-ray but will actually plunk down even more money than you are asking for your version for Kar-Wai’s original vision on the international blu-ray release instead. We’re the ones who have done this before when you’ve altered foreign films and we’re the ones who will do it again if you persist in this sort of thing. We’re the ones whose money you are not getting. We’re the ones who give a shit.