Written by / 3/30/2016 / No comments / , , , ,

BLASTING INTO AMADEUS DIRECTOR'S CUT

An Agenda-Piece about A Particular Scene in AMADEUS that truly embodies the mystery of this horrible CUT
It's long overdue, the time to warn everyone and anyone; the believers and non-believers or those who just don't care or were never a fan of the motion picture AMADEUS or those who think it's the gold at the end of the rainbow...

Elizabeth Berridge & Tom Hulce
If you want the lowdown on the theatrical gem that won eight big awards, well, first off, let's take away that vapid cliche: "The way it was always intended to be instead of what we saw on the big screen." It's pretty obvious, since director Milos Forman had swept the Oscars in 1975, he wasn't exactly a desperate Orson Welles or John Cassavetes type auteur seeking survival with zero control of his films...

So creating a DIRECTOR'S CUT of what is already a perfect film is just... insane, and when viewed upon by any logical fan of the ORIGINAL, if you don't find it pure blaspheme... that's fine. But give us a chance to provide a particular close-up on a motion picture that has been considered one of the finest in the world, and that was long before it was changed to fit the director's new mood swing...

The Real Deal
For hardly could there have been one particular scene intended to play out exactly the way it does, or rather, did, in order to see inside our main character (also the villain, but not completely unsympathetic) for the first time in two different timelines, and we'll center on mostly one particular sequence, a microcosm in describing the difference between the DIRECTOR'S CUT and ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION of AMADEUS; the latter which was, and still is, pure perfection like... the music of The Man, Mozart, dying young in the movie for reasons most likely untrue, fictionalized (based on a play) to show the comparisons of a mediocre Talent verses the Greatest Composer of his Day, or possibly All Time... Like Kubrick being killed by Michael Bay...

Poster and DVD Artwork
And so, starting with THE ORIGINAL VERSION: Italian Court composer in Venice, Antonio Salieri, played by Best Actor winning F. Murray Abraham, is in love, or rather, in lust with a beautiful opera singer, Katerina Cavalieri, played by Christine Ebersole. Who on Earth wouldn't be? "Oh hey... wait... Ms. Right?" is Bill Murray's sarcastic line as Christine literally "got away" from Dustin Hoffman after his own birthday party in TOOTSIE, and here she breaks another heart... actually, two... a young man, and an old one... Of the same man: One old, the other worn-out yet comparatively new.

She wants to meet The Man by...
And that's why Abraham won the Award against his co-lead and title character Tom Hulce, who starts out acting silly yet gets more intense along the way... as his music is messed with, he becomes edgier and less childish: more like a real person, protecting what's his and his only. And Abraham, playing court composer Antonio Salieri, hating God for Mozart's existence and vice versa and also, as a pontificating old man, telling his story to a shy asylum priest where our "villain," per se, director Milos Forman, was right at home in a CUCKOO'S NEST setting. Yet Antonio Salieri's words FLEW OVER the clergyman's head, in which the ancient composer was confessing his very own guilt-ridden sins and the fact that, for the most part, he'd rather be dead...

And the gorgeous Opera Singer who Salieri, at first, in a very subtle manner, warns against meeting and/or working for... that being the new buzz in town and bane of his existence, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. And yet, soon enough, Christine's Katerina Cavalieri is singing lead in a Mozart Opera on stage, much to Salieri's chagrin within his important yet seething court composer box seat, as he has probably figured things out, halfway...

Stacked Actor
It's after the end of a great performance with heavenly music that we, the audience, see Mozart... surrounded by the likes of Salieri, his uptight contemporaries and even the King himself... gladly presenting Katerina a handful of flowers...

2) Uses the Sap to...
When suddenly, from below the stage, his fat future mother-in-law and most importantly, a sexy-buxom fiancée (Elizabeth Berridge, who survived Tobe Hooper's FUNHOUSE), are lifted onto the stage and she, the near-future Constanze Mozart, is introduced to everyone, including...

Well at this moment, Mozart is a deer caught in headlights as Katerina "returns" the flowers back, slamming them into the brilliant Composer's gut in a spiteful, jealous rage, right before storming quickly off stage... And then, at that moment, the old Salieri, who we go back and forth to during the entire film, says (semi paraphrasing here), in an extremely intense manner:

1) Extended Scene as the bitch...
"That's when I knew: the creature had had her!" Basically, it was all too clear where the little devil's proverbial pitchfork had been all along... and where he, Salieri, wanted his own to be. For right as she stormed off, and obviously, despite the script, the film's brilliant editors knew that that was all it would take Abraham's Salieri to see, and realize for certain, who his unrequited lover loved, rather than he...

3) Destroy Wolfie & his bitch
But director Milos Forman, in his horrific DIRECTOR'S CUT; worse yet, the only version of the classic film (seemingly) available on Blu-Ray or any Remastered form: Instead of cutting back to the aged Salieri after Katerina shows her passionate jealousy that loudly rivals Salieri's silent hatred... The scene doesn't cut, but it actually.... continues... for a long, pointless, boring, plodding while, until the no-longer jealous but now more curious Salieri visits the singer in her dressing room where we witness a boring, soap operatic seven-minute scene where she finally... after he poses question after question like some kind of charming detective... shyly admits that she had, in fact, slept with his rival... And despite the supposedly shocking news, the scene's halfway into a coma, unlike the previous scene ending with a woman, scorned...

Hulcing Around
And so, at this point, since the original scene had been basically castrated, Salieri's spiteful repose of jealousy as a sick old man means absolutely nothing, for we still cut back to the "That's when I knew: the creature had had her " moment of anger and rage. And this was really, truly the first time Salieri loathed Mozart, in person, beyond rabid daydreams and bitter mental schemes... Meanwhile, other "alterations," including additional characters, and more insight into the partying artisans that storm the film's 11th hour, including Simon Callow's con artist making comedies of Mozart's plays in the "downtown" theater, without any pay... This side-story was most likely meant to be left ambiguous for the two true leads (and that loud knocking door) to shine much brighter otherwise, and the whole DIRECTOR'S CUT is just too much to get into, frankly. But thankfully we found the old annoying Snap Case Flipper DVD... which will do until someone's head screws on the right way, and then we can all have our favorite version remastered... Is that Okay?

Top of his Game
"I can't rewrite what's perfect," Hulce's intense Mozart tells a sneaky Salieri at one point. And Milos should have taken note; or when he accepted the award for Best Director after watching the Best Actor before hearing they also won Best Picture. What does he want, AN EVEN BETTER PICTURE award next? Well he ain't getting it...

Shame!
In fact, let's take the old gold statue away till his semi-retired ass behaves, and the true fans are given the version that meant something all along. In fact, it meant everything. For there used to be a movie called AMADEUS, and it was downright amazing, especially if you were lucky to be either wisely old and/or feverishly young enough to view it the way it was supposed to be seen: without a really bad case of Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

AMADEUS RATING ORIGINAL: *****
ADDITIONAL TRIVIA: Another Director's Cut to stay clear from, other than all the George Lucas original trilogy crap, which is actually easier to take than something like AMADEUS being from a galaxy far, far away is Francis Ford Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX in which Robert Duvall's bad-ass character's turned into a clown, and a scene, towards the end where everything is surreal, right before the Brando ordeal, the ship's survived crew has lunch with Frenchman wearing Alligator shirts. But... Coppola puts the REDUX along with the original, although he should not have changed it at all. If only they followed Scorsese's lead when he said something about films representing the time they were made, and just don't mess with them anyway.
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