Monday, 19 September 2011
Now the idea of people going back and doing their films over again is as old as Cecil B DeMille remaking BEN HUR because that's the only choice that he had with the technology of the time, but with CGI and digital it is simple to make all manner of changes (such as Steven Spielberg taking the guns out of ET The Extraterrestrial).
The question is, do they have the right?
Well of course they do. They made the films, they own the films and they have the right to do what they like with them.
We'd like to espouse the opinion, however, that when a work of entertainment (or art if you prefer) is released into the world, it is a contract between the artist and the audience. The imaginations of both are used to some sort of degree to create the final piece. What you see in STAR WARS is different to what I see because we are different people and our responses to the images are different.
So, if the audience are investing themselves in the piece, shouldn't they have a say in whether it should be messed around with?
The answer is no, but with a proviso here. Once the work has been released, it belongs as much to the public who saw it as the artist who made it. That work should therefore remain available to the public should they wish it to. Any subsequent versions that the artist decides to make should not make the original unavailable.
Yes, artists should be allowed to make improvements, but if the public don't like those improvements then they should be allowed to go back to the original just as freely. If the artist doesn't like that principle then they shouldn't release their work into the public eye and certainly shouldn't be taking money for doing so.
So Mr Lucas et al, carry out all the tinkering that you want, but leave the originals available for those that love them that way.