Steven Soderbergh to Release a Revamped Version of KAFKA?
Vulture has a really great longread transcription of an interview with Steven Soderbergh, wherein you actually get some context as to his "post-cinema" career that begins after the release of Side Effects next week.
He talks about painting, the allure of television, and the major cultural transformation seen over the last 30 years or so...
...but one of the most interesting nuggets revealed is that he's working on a recut, German-dubbed (!) reworking of his 1991 movie Kafka. The movie stars Jeremy Irons as Kafka and features one of Alec Guinness' final screen performances. They apparently shot inserts during production of Side Effects for the new version of the 22-year-old movie.
Kafka isn't perfect, but it's really goddamned interesting, and I think it's a lot better than Soderbergh himself thinks it is.
The relevant segment from the interview:
Well, I’m remaking—it’s been a long process—but I’m overhauling Kafkacompletely. It’s funny—wrapping a movie 22 years later! But the rights had reverted back to me and Paul Rassam, an executive producer, and he said, “I know you were never really happy with it. Do you want to go back in and play around?” We shot some inserts while we were doing Side Effects. I’m also dubbing the whole thing into German so the accent issue goes away. And Lem and I have been working on recalibrating some of the dialogue and the storytelling. So it’s a completely different movie. The idea is to put them both out on disc. But for the most part, I’m a believer in your first impulse being the right one. And I certainly think that most of the seventies directors who have gone back in and tinkered with their movies have made them worse.
He's not erasing the original cut from existence, either, as he says above. Here's hoping for yet another great Criterionization of a Soderbergh movie. As it stands, Kafka is only on OOP laserdisc (and VHS), for crying out loud.
I've been re-editing and re-writing a career retrospective series on Soderbergh over on my personal site. It's called "Soderberghopolis", which you can find all installments of here as it posts or just subscribe to the RSS feed for the site itself. New articles in the series post at least once weekly until it's done. The next installment, which posts tomorrow, just so happens to include Kafka. I might run an excerpt of it here, since it's got some renewed topicality.
What do you folks think?
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