Drowning by Numbers
In welcoming the 100th follower to the blog I thought I would share one of my favourite Directors – Peter Greenaway. In his film Drowning by Numbers, the numbers 1 through 100 appear in various guises during the narrative. If ever there were a film maker whose work demanded a large screen presentation [none of this small screen multiplex nonsense – and definitely not TV] then he is your man.
I was thinking the other day about the new landscape of film watching [whatever happened to Split Screens in movies] and in particular how movies are so often ‘butchered’ by studios, over the protestation of their makers. Time cut out [as audiences won’t sit through longer films apparently – too many to mention], plot explaining voice-overs [e.g. Blade Runner and Dark City], the removal of ‘fancy’ sub titles [one that particularly annoys is The Andromeda Strain. I argue that the ‘ticker-tape’ inter-titles are a crucial foreshadowing element of the plot], anything by Orson Wells.
It has always seemed strange to me that studios hire Directors to do a job, presumably trusting that they will do a good job, but then allow ‘non-creatives’ to make editing choices despite the objections of the film maker. Surely it must be more than a desire to make more money by having a Director’s Cut version to flog later down the line?
All hail the auteur!