Cinematic history is filled with stories of directors compromising and constraining artistic visions at the behest of studios and producers with very different ideas.
The Quad Cinema features some of the most prominent examples of the result of these conflicts, with its “The Way I See It: Directors’ Cuts” series, which launches Friday and runs through Jan. 18.
It’s a compendium of original directorial visions once compromised and lost, often for worse and occasionally for the better.
These range from unmitigated flops now regarded as misunderstood masterpieces such as Michael Cimino’s epochal “Heaven’s Gate,” to films that were butchered beyond belief upon their initial release like Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America.” His New York City Jewish gangster epic received a critical drubbing after its original 1984 U.S. opening with an hour and a half cut from its original 229-minute running time.
The troubled production of “Apocalypse Now” finally resulted in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Redux” seeing the light of day in 2001, complete with 49 minutes of new footage. It’s widely available on streaming sites but a must-see on the big screen.
Other offerings include Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” “Brazil” and “The Abyss.”