Soderbergh’s CHE to be one film or two?

     May 22, 2008

Written by Matt Goldberg

Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming biopic “Che” is getting mixed word out of Cannes, with some saying it’s in the running for the festival’s top prize, the Palm d’Or, and others, like Variety’s Anne Thompson, who called the film a “noble failure”. Those in Cannes saw the film as Soderbergh intended: as a four-hour epic in two parts, “The Argentine” and “Guerilla”. When the film is released for U.S. audiences, they may not see it that way.

A four-hour epic sends a shudder up the spines of both studios and distributors alike as they can’t show the film as many times per day and perhaps as evidenced by last year’s “Grindhouse”, audiences may not want to sit through long films with clear breaks in the first place. I remember when I went to see “Grindhouse” last year, people walked out of the theatre after “Planet Terror” and didn’t stay for “Death Proof”. Those fuckers were wrong but I can guarantee you that they provided poisonous word of mouth to Rodriguez and Tarantino’s great double-feature.

Soderbergh, however, is willing to strike a compromise, where the film would be released in its uncut four-hour form for the first week of release and then afterwards, it could be broken into separate releases, “The Argentine” and “Guerilla”. For Soderbergh, such a release would be an “event”. For me, such a release structure seems to be a win all around.

Information from a Variety article was used to write this story. Click here to find out why we don’t link to them anymore.

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