54

54 ★★★½

I viewed the "Director's Cut" of the film, which is 1 hour 46 minutes, and upon doing some research just now I learned that there's another, longer, director's cut somewhere out in the atmosphere. One that's a full 15 minutes longer than the one I viewed.

I'm too tired to delve further into this curious case right now but needless to say I'm more than a little disappointed.

Anyway, the "director's cut" that I watched proved to be a fun, well-paced tale. One that's slightly campy but comes from a place of good intentions. The previously excised scenes are presented with no retouching, touting a noticeably grainy quality that (perhaps intentionally) makes obvious what studio execs thought "too much" for the general public.

The majority of these scenes (virtually all of them) are ones that include a gay or otherwise homoerotic subtext. One of them is really just a shot of Shane walking in the club and exchanging a lingering double-take with a fellow male club-goer. Which speaks volumes about Hollywood's extreme discomfort with homosexuality, which has admittedly loosened a bit over the years but still has a very very long way to go.

I had never seen the theatrical version of this but I'm glad I watched this one. I can only wonder why they chose to release a still-condensed version of the actual 2 hour cut that was screened last year.

*sigh*

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