Anyone who knows me knows my struggle to get my cut of THE PLAGUE released after watching the film get taken away and re-cut by producers into something almost unrecognizable. That’s why I want to applaud director Mathieu Kassovitz for speaking openly about the fate of his most recent film, BABYLON A.D.
According to Cinematical.com, Kassovitz admits that a troubled production and comprised final cut… are responsible for turning his adaptation of Maurice Georges Dantec’s futuristic novel into “pure violence and stupidity… like a bad episode of ’24’.”… He admits that, while he doesn’t hate the film, he insists that “I had something much better in my hands but I just wasn’t allowed to work” and then openly berates them for “just trying to get a PG-13 movie.”
In a town like Hollywood where speaking out against such actions is frowned upon and many are quietly threatened with being “blacklisted” (I should know), I want to acknowledge anyone with the bravery and passion to speak openly and honestly about their experiences. Kassovitz is a wonderful actor (AMELIE, BIRTHDAY GIRL, MUNICH) and a director of rare talent (LA HAINE, ASSASSIN(S), LES RIVIERES POURPRES), but since making films in America he has not, it would seem, been allowed to live up to his potential (GOTHIKA, and now BABYLON A.D.). When this happens, we the audience–as well as the filmmaker–lose.
What happened to Kassovitz is by no means a new practice in Hollywood, however it is one I hope is coming to an end as newer technologies allow filmmakers the opportunity to make their films in an environment more suited to the creative process. That day is coming, but it starts by setting examples for other artists to follow. We need to show that we have other choices aside from the ones we are offered by people who don’t honor or respect what we do. And no matter what anyone tells you, you DO have the choice. And this applies to all aspects of your life. Your art is no exception.