Variety‘s Nic Vivarelli and Ari Jaafar delivered a combination fact-and-spurious-criticism piece yesterday afternoon when they reported that int’l financier-distributor Wild Bunch is “in advanced negotiations with three stateside companies for North American rights” to Steven Soderbergh‘s Che, “according to sources close to the production.”
They explained that a “new version” of the Che Guevara epic, which will have its North American debut at the Toronto Film Festival on 9.9, will be some 17 minutes shorter than the Cannes version. Then they said that “the latest cut is reputedly easier to follow, with a new title sequence that engages auds from the get-go.”
Bully for the new title sequence, but trust me — the Cannes version was never hard to follow. Some critics complained (if you boiled the snow out of what they wrote) that it lacked familiar comforts by way of “movie moments” — conventional dramatic strategies, emotional engagement, causing tears to well up, etc. Che is first and foremost a movie about the experience of “being there” with Guevara through triumph and disaster with no instructions how to feel about it one way or the other.
Anyone who watched the Cannes version and came out at the end saying, “Whoa, I don’t know, kinda hard to follow” was either suffering from serious movie-comprehension issues or blowing deliberate smoke — there’s no third assessment