Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Forcing a filmmaker to submit to editorial oversight can be a good thing, but when the Big Brother hanging over your Avid is Harvey Weinstein? Things can get ugly. We knew that Quentin Tarantino was making some cuts and changes to Inglourious Basterds in the wake of the film’s Cannes Premiere, tightening that 2 hour 27 minute cut and even adding a scene or two. But Sharon Waxman at The Wrap claims that The Weinstein Company wants Tarantino to cut a massive 40 minutes. Is this an artistic move to strengthen the film or a desperate bid to squeeze more cash out of the film in August by keeping the running time down? With The Weinstein Company having massive cash problems, what do you think?
What Waxman says is this:
Weinstein and co-producer Universal are both trying to convince Tarantino to cut it by 40 minutes. (It’s now 2’40″, and considered too long a sit, especially for American audiences.)
But that’s not quite true. The Cannes cut was 2’27″ (as pointed out by The Playlist) while the longest edit Tarantino could deliver while still retaining final cut (which he still has), is 2’48″. So he doesn’t have to give in to Harvey, and very well might not. Consider what Tarantino told The Hollywood Reporter about the Cannes cut:
It’s a no-fucking-around kind of pacing. That doesn’t mean it’s a big action movie. It just means there’s a good, steady pacing. I don’t luxuriate in every scene.
Regardless, I’m hoping this is the end of the Tarantino/Weinstein partnership, no matter what happens to TWC when all the financial troubles are said and done. This is why, when reporting on that likely baseless rumor of Tarantino and Brad Pitt circling The Millennium Trilogy, I parenthetically wondered if Pitt might only be producing. Because at this point, please, get Tarantino away from the Weinsteins. If Quentin and Harvey ever had a real Hitchcock/Selznick relationship, it is over. Time to move on. Set up shop with Pitt’s Plan B (or anyone, really) and make a picture under the influence of people who actually like movies.