7 years ago

“A World Unseen” Explores the Making of ‘The Revenant’

20th Century Fox released on Jan 21, 2016 “A World Unseen,” a 44-minute documentary look at this year’s Oscar contender ‘The Revenant’. 

Rev·e·nant noun: a person who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead.

For those who have seen the film I highly recommend the Documentary. It features a lot of behind-the-scenes and better aspects of the theme of the film, which deals about the indigenous side of the story brilliantly (the supply demand story of today’s economics), and which is being missed in the feature length version of the film. You can watch Eliot Rausch’s (STINK) brilliant doc. here.

“How we see the world determines how we act” First Peoples Worldwide. 

a grant-making advocacy organization, released an animated video about sustainable economic success titled “Enoughness: Restoring Balance to the Economy” on March 15th, 2013… (AskTheRightQuestion) 

“based in part on the novel by” Michael Punke’s 2002 novel, It says at the end credits of the feature length film. And this is where immediately my personal problem started with Mark L. Smith’s screenplay. Dicaprio stated in Charle Rose that the script has been going around for a while in Hollywood, but it needed the right director for it. Development of ‘The Revenant’ already began in August 2001, with producer Akiva Goldsman (of whom I worked with for 4 months on Mr. & Mrs Smith) acquiring the rights to Michael Punke’s then-unpublished manuscript. David Rabe wrote the first version but then went to Mark L. Smith, who wrote a new adaptation of the novel for Steve Golin’s Anonymous Content. We know that Inarritu signed on to direct in August 2011 (TheWrap), already before Birdman. But the simple fact of the matter is, that this ($60 to $95 to $135 million – TheWrap) (principal photography: began October 2014 / Wrapped August 2015) revenge story of the American frontiersman Hugh Glass simply won’t hold you tight to the screen for 156 minutes. 

"as a director, if I identify a violin that is out of tune, I have to take that from the orchestra." Iñárritu. 

Don’t get me wrong, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s frontier-set revenge drama is a true incredible visceral virtual reality documentary experience (1,5 hour of shooting natural light every day) but sadly as stated above has an incredible thin story line. Strip ‘The Revenant’ of its stunning Emmanuel Lubezki (nickname Chivo) cinematography with it’s long takes of stunning landscape shots of Calgary, Fortress Mountain in Alberta, Canada. And at Squamish and Mammoth Studios, Burnaby, in British Columbia landscape, you simply will find poor character development of: Hugh Glass: wife-husband relationship, son-father relationship, John Fitzgerald’s (Tom Hardy) character development as always complaining, but brilliant acting and Texas outlaw accent, but unfortunate Captain Andrew Henry non-impressive performance and in-depth character. 

Also by now you have read in every single interview, marketed by the world’s fourth-largest media group News Corporation (20th Century Fox), that everyone suffered “in service of the film” to make this “epic film.” ‘The Revenant’ simply doesn’t have the classic brilliance of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) or Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) or Fitzcarraldo (1982). It simply misses the historical smarts and emotional depth of these best modern interpretations. The actual depth and background of the indigenous story is coming from the ‘The Revenant’ documentary made by Eliot Rausch. 

You would also expect more tighter editing from Stephen Mirrione (156 minutes), and with DiCaprio’s macho close shots (way too many), it brought me to multiple times of extreme boredom. 

At the 2015 Directors’ roundtable this year (FULL VIDEO) with Quentin Tarantino (‘The Hateful Eight’), Tom Hooper (‘The Danish Girl’), Alejandro G. Inarritu (‘The Revenant’), Ridley Scott (‘The Martian’), Danny Boyle (‘Steve Jobs’) and David O. Russell (‘Joy’), everyone speaks about the great year it was in film, and Tarantino makes a valid point of the current film business in general, creates enough momentum for people leaving their house to go the cinema’s. 

"The film industry didn’t believe that television could ever become its biggest competitor” Kevin Spacey. 

Well it has Kevin. And you were right all along. Studio films from Hollywood these days just simply don’t take enough time anymore to focus on ‘Character driven drama’. If it’s a writer issue, simple matter of time and/or distribution problem. We simply all know audiences are demanding “complex, smart stories” as they become accustomed to “bingeing” on box sets, Kevin Spacey told TV executives in Edinburgh on 22 August 2013 (VIDEO). 

With Star Wars it has proven (again thin story line with hommage to Lucas’ original films) that’s it’s worth actually visiting a cinema. This because of the visceral experience, and in all honestly with ‘The Revenant’ it’s the same. Go and see it, but don’t expect to see a ‘classic’ nor a Nic Pizzolatto, Matthew Weiner, Vince Gilligan, David Benioff or D.B. Weiss screenplay, but more a western silent film set in Canada (and Argentina) with lot of a struggling ‘Please I want my Oscar close ups’ of Dicaprio, and this unfortunate revenge story we have seen in every summer movie blockbuster 50x times by now… 

“Survivors in a violent world where women are usually little more than possessions to be either rescued or used as sexual and domestic aides.” (Glenn Dunks, Junkee)

The Revenant: Behind the Scenes + Interviews

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox.