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Total Film Magazine Interview with Ridley Scott

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I can't find this article on the TotalFilm.com site. What follows is a transcript posted by a member of the IMDb.com KOH board.

This was in Total Film Magazine, which I picked up today, thought you guys might be interested....

Mark Salisbury is the interviewer and writer.

Ridley Scott on the Kingdom Of Heaven Director's Cut, the definitive Blade Runner DVD and catering for weak bladders....

MS: Is this Director's Cut the film you wanted first time round, or a version designed especially for a home audience?

RS: It's the cut I would have liked to have done in the first place. In fact, this is awfully close to the cut I would have shown to the studio. Three hours, eight minutes. It's been redigitised and it's beautiful. I think the short version is okay.

MS: How much extra footage is there?

RS: Forty minutes. And it's not entrances and exits, it's actual characters, scenes, scenes that drive the narrative.... In the two-and-hald hour version we removed the part of the Eva Green character which was to do with her son. That's been reinstated and it shows what a great actress she is.

MS: All the reinstated scenes make it feel like a completely different film - epic, but also very human.

RS: The editing process can easily turn into an experience of paranoia where you think, 'My God, this is too slow!' And so you start nibbling away and the next thing you know, you've taken it to a place where it shouldn't be. One of the hardest tricks is to keep some distance from your own work.

MS: Who's to blame for the theatrical version?

RS: The real enemy in all of this is previewing, because a preview is a tool. You're asking an audience to come in and judge something that myself, the writer and the studio have been agonising over for two bloody years. And suddenly we have to sit down and listen to people's snap opinions. It's silly and insidious. Gradually even the so-called director starts to get paranoid - and then the studio. Suddenly they're all sitting around the table discussing how they can fix something that probably isn't broken. A little bit of that has gone into all this. It wasn't just the studio's fault, because I was party to the preview process as well. I've just finished 'A Good Year' with Russell Crowe and we're not having any previews at all.

MS: So you're against previewing?

RS: It depends who's in the driving seat. If you've got a lunatic doing my job, then you need to preview. But a good director should be experienced enough to judge what he thinks is the correct version to go out into the cinema.

MS: Why include an intermission on this version?

RS: Because you need to get up and pee or get a beer. I've always loved the idea of an intermission.

MS: As a filmmaker you've embraced the DVD format. How important is its ability to give your films a new lease of life?

RS: After all the work we go through, to have it run in the cinema and then disappear forever is a great pity. To give the film added life is really cool for both those who missed it and those who really loved it. And if you were led to show a shorter cut in the cinema, you can either run a longer version or the director's version or simply to have two versions on the disc so people can compare and choose.

MS: We've heard talk of a definitive 'Blade Runner' DVD for years. What's the latest news?

RS: They're going to re-release it next year in a digital reconstruction and get the original stems from Vangelis, so we're going to have all the original tracks. Then we're going to celebrate 25 years - can you believe it? - and from that will come the best DVD.

MS: What version are we going to see on it?

RS: It's going to be the Director's Cut. There will be none of that flying off into the landscape at the end - living happily-ever-after and all that bollocks, because it's always bothered me, that. I thought, if you've got landscape out there like that, why live in that horrible city?

Here is the box more specifically about the DVD that was also on this page....

KINGDOM OF HEAVEN DIRECTOR'S CUT. Certificate: 15

(2005) Out 12 June (£29.99)

Film **** Extras ***

Rather than re-re-review the re-re-release, here's the Lounge Lowdown on what's different and why it makes things better. By reinstating 40 minutes of extra footage to his Crusader epic, Director Ridley Scott manages to....

MAKE ORLANDO BLOOM A BETTER ACTOR. In retrospect perhaps unfairly criticised for his performance in the original cut, here Bloom's character, Balian, is given a proper backstory, meaning we now fully understand his desire to seek the eponymous kingdom. We learn that Michael Sheen's priest is actually his brother, that Balian was in jail following his wife's suicide when the story begins, and that he was an engineer as well as a blacksmith, which explains his military mind come the siege of Jerusalem.

GIVE LIAM NEESON SCREEN-TIME. Godfrey, Baron of Ibelin's need to atonement is more realised in the Director's Cut. Also, Ed Norton's masked leper character, King Baldwin IV, is expanded. In the theatrical version, Norton was little more than a cameo. Here, he has a fully formed role. We even see him lead is army into battle against Saladin (Ghassan Massoud)

MAKE SENSE OF EVA GREEN'S TRANSFORMATION. From Goth princess to depressed psycho.... in the theatrical cut, Princess Sibylla sleeps with Balian and then, more or less, loses her mind. How we understand why. Not only does Sibylla have a young son, but when she realises he's inflicted with leprosy just like her brother Baldwin, she decides to take his life shortly after he's been crowned king. Fair enough.

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Thanks rebecca! That's a great read - especially the bit about unfair criticism. It's about time someone admitted that!

It's really good to see the DVD getting press coverage as well as online, too.

I was beginning to think the press people were oblivious.

Kathryn.

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MS: Why include an intermission on this version?

RS: Because you need to get up and pee or get a beer. I've always loved the idea of an intermission.

Hint, hint, theatre owners! Anyways, thank you Jane.

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Thanks for posting this Rebecca. It's a really interesting read.

I'm more than a little eager to see this version.

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The great reviews/feedback keeps coming! :2thumbs: Thanks for posting, Jane!

Jules

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MAKE ORLANDO BLOOM A BETTER ACTOR. In retrospect perhaps unfairly criticised for his performance in the original cut, here Bloom's character, Balian, is given a proper backstory, meaning we now fully understand his desire to seek the eponymous kingdom.

I am just going to repeat what I said in response to the Miami Herald article:

:yess:

Thank you Jane.

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Thanks rebecca! That's a great read - especially the bit about unfair criticism. It's about time someone admitted that!

I so totally agree with you Kathryn. It's about :censor: time. :blush:

Luv ya, :heart:

Cherie

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