Director’s cut of “54”

The director’s cut of 54 brings the film closer to the club’s brand of disco-as-spectacle.

Another article at Hazlitt (see the earlier "Desert Hearts" post), by Toronto writer Chris Randle (The Globe and Mail, The Village Voice and others).

From the article:

As a recent Vulture article explained, Weinstein’s Miramax removed 40 minutes from 54 and then spliced in half an hour of reshoots, warping the film’s visual continuity. A tentative, searching kiss between Shane and his best friend Greg, played by Breckin Meyer, was out; the new cut bolted on a hetero romance with Neve Campbell’s soap-opera star Julie Black, originally no more than a fleeting presence. Weinstein’s 54 was a commercial failure anyway.


The director’s cut of 54 resembles a parable: The first and final shots are almost identical. Beyond that simple premise, Christopher’s film seldom devotes itself to narrative; instead we find ephemeral spectacle. Cherubs descend from the ceiling. Men painted gold sweat flecks onto each other. And with a few exceptions, the dialogue avoids conscious camp, what Sontag called “Being-as-Playing-a-Role.”

Read more at Hazlitt

Revisiting Desert Hearts

Better Sex, Better World  is a a lovely tribute to Desert Hearts (1985) by Nicole Pasulka at Hazlitt Magazine.

From the article:

Notable because it rejected tired, homophobic tropes in order to affirm a lesbian love affair, Desert Hearts also garnered several positive, high profile reviews from mainstream critics. (Roger Ebert called it a film of “undeniable power.”) Of watching the movie at a gay and lesbian film festival in 1995, Stacey wrote, “the audience was high on participation and frequently screamed with laughter and pleasure as the conventions of Hollywood romance, which had excluded them for so long, were being used in a lesbian context.


While filming the scene, there happened to be church bells ringing outside. Deitch got lucky.

Desert Hearts at IMDB