Reworked 'Tin Drum' screening at Cannes

Volker Schlondorff pic screens in Classics sidebar

CANNES -- German director Volker Schlondorff has returned to Cannes with the director's cut of his 1979 Palme d'Or-winning classic, "The Tin Drum." The new version, which screens in the Cannes Classics section, includes 22 minutes of unseen material.

"I always thought the original was the director's cut, since I did it," Schlondorff joked. "But last year the lab was asking: 'well we still have 60 boxes of material, some 100,000 feet of negative footage and every year the producers are paying for storage. How long do you want to keep it?' "

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So Schlondorff, script and clap numbers in hand, revisited the scenes of his greatest triumph, trawling through material he hadn't looked at in three decades. Impressed by the performances of "Drum's" cast, particularly a then 12-year-old David Bennent in his starring role as the anarchic dwarf Oskar, Schlondorff decided to restore four scenes snipped from the original cut.

"I did not re-edit the whole movie, just added these new scenes, and a few surprises," Schlondorff told THR.

"Drum" followed its Palme-winning performance in Cannes with a triumphant tour around the world, ending in Hollywood, where the film became the first German title to win the foreign-language Oscar. Back where it all began, Schlondorff reflected on how much, and little, has changed in Cannes.

"As the French say, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," he said. "The change is enormous. There are five times more people, five times more money, 10, 100 times more media, but the spirit of Cannes is still the same."