Kevin Smith’s Red State (review here) was the most controversial film shown at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. That being said, it was also one of the most maligned as the bad reviews far outweighed the good.
Smith himself noticed some problems during the screening and as a result has decided to make a few edits. This matter was discussed in far greater detail during an interview with The Kevin and Josh Movie Show.
“The movie that I showed the cast and crew screening at wrap, two days after we wrapped, I showed them the whole movie, that’s the movie I pretty much showed at Sundance with end credits attached to it… I loved the movie, we knew what we were doing in terms of editing it, it was a beautiful running time and stuff… and then we go to Sundance and I sit in the back and for the first time I get to watch it with 1200 people who have no involvement with the movie, no involvement with me…
So I’m sitting there going “Okay, there’s something I thought would work, didn’t play with the audience”, “Something I thought would get a nice reaction just kinda laid there”, “Boy, that played way bigger than I ever thought it would, maybe we should shape something around there” and just found some time to take out… if I had to guess I’m saying five to ten minutes somewhere in there.
And John [Gordon, producer] fought me on it. John was just like ”Why bother, dude, we’re our own bosses, nobody’s telling you to take it out”, like back in the old days Harvey would be “I love it! Take ten minutes out,” no direction at all, just take the time out, so John’s like “We don’t have to do that now, we don’t have to really cut the movie at all” and I said “Yeah, but I’m a filmmaker first and foremost, dude, and I want the movie to play as gangbusters as possible” and if the length of Parks’ speech is making anybody remotely go “Maybe that speech is a little long”… I want them to love Parks as much as I do, so for me, right, I’m an editor, you kill your babies every step of the way as an editor.”
Look for more soon, and to stay up-to-date on all things Red State, follow Kevin Smith on Twitter.
Ever since Clerks (cowinner of the Filmmakers Trophy at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival), Kevin Smith has been known for his sharp, subversive, comedic writing. He shifts from comedy to horror with Red State and aptly demonstrates that good writing transcends genre. Red State begins by following three horny high-school boys who come across an online ad from an older woman looking for a gang bang. Boys being boys, they hit the road to satisfy their libidinal urges. But what begins as a fantasy takes a dark turn as they come face-to-face with a terrifying “holy” force with a fatal agenda. Instead of relying on archetypes and predictable formulas, Smith meticulously fashions all-too-real characters, utilizing exceptional performances (notably by Michael Parks) and an intelligent script. His realistic style gives the film an intimate feeling, heightening the terror to biblical proportions. Red State is a shocking new kind of horror film that aggressively confronts higher powers and extreme doctrines with a vengeance.
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