As part of his study of the art of editing, and to do good for all mankind, the actor Topher Grace recut Star Wars episodes 1-3 into an 85-minute prequel which focuses on the transformation of Anakin into Darth Vader. Paul Sciretta attended a secretive screening of the Grace Edit, and prepared a detailed write-up for Slashfilm. Given what Grace had to work with, the remix sounds pretty good. But then there's this:
Before the film screened a trailer for another film Topher Grace is remixing -- Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of a Third Kind. I'm not sure that film needs a remix, or could even benefit from a remix, but am interested to see what the experiment will look like. After that, Grace hopes that other actors, editors and filmmakers will run with the ball, produce and showcase remixed films on a annual basis within this private community.Close Encounters has already gone through several notable edits, as Spielberg tinkered with it. [The director himself considers the 2001 Collector's Edition to be the definitive version.]
Jason Reitman has been directing live stage reads of classic film screenplays at LACMA, showing how a filmmaker can make different choices with an interesting cast can completely change a written screenplay. This seems like the next evolution of that, but also an exercise in storytelling with the use of crafty editing. I'm not sure I completely understand Grace's motives in creating this film, but I enjoyed it regardless.
I'm kind of fascinated with this idea of using commercial films and their inputs as raw material, and especially with seeing people inside the Hollywood bubble, who are likely to be indulged rather than sued, softening up the crowd. I may get around to making my shot-for-shot remake of Gus Van Sant's Gerry yet.