“For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!
— Maud Muller, by John Greenleaf Whittier
Annals of film history are filled with masterpieces that never were. Cineastes spend many a sleepless night thinking of Stanley Kubrick’s unproduced epic on Napoleon’s life. Film historians still search every nook and cranny to possibly locate Orson Welles’ first cut of The Magnificent Ambersons. Then there is the original script for John Huston’s Freud: The Secret passion that a little known philosopher by the name of Jean-Paul Sartre wrote; and Aldous Huxley’s Alice and the Mysterious Mr. Carroll, which was an amalgam of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and the biography of Lewis Carroll, of which Walt Disney said: “[The script] was so literary I could understand only every third word.” There are many, many more, and probably none of these intriguing projects will ever get to see the light of day.
But don’t despair, gentle reader. As a late Christmas present, PressPlay is proud to offer you a glimpse of another masterpiece that could have been. Drown your cinephile sorrows in this.
Kevin B. Lee is Editor in Chief of Fandor, a new video on demand website featuring the best of independent and international films. He is also a film critic and award-winning filmmaker. In addition to editing Keyframe, Kevin contributes to film publications and produces online video essays. Ali Arikan is the chief film critic of Dipnot TV, a Turkish news portal and iPad magazine, and one of Roger Ebert’s Far-Flung Correspondents. Ali is also a regular contributor to The House Next Door, Slant Magazine’s official blog.