Kassovitz on the set of Babylon A.D.Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
French-born director Matthieu Kassovitz has seen his stock fall quite a bit since his first feature, 1995’s buzzy, electrifying La Haine. Though he’s appeared as an actor in Munich and Amélie, the last movie he directed was 2003’s Halle Berry flop Gothika. We thought that this week’s Vin Diesel sci-fi epic Babylon A.D. — a sure-fire August Movie if ever we saw one — would represent yet another stumble in the career of a talented director. But thanks to Kassovitz’s angry interview with AMC’s SciFi Scanner blog, it might actually represent the end of his career.
“I’m very unhappy with the film,” Kassovitz tells AMC:
“It’s pure violence and stupidity.” he admits. “The movie is supposed to teach us that the education of our children will mean the future of our planet. All the action scenes had a goal: They were supposed to be driven by either a metaphysical point of view or experience for the characters … instead parts of the movie are like a bad episode of 24.”
Kassovitz blames 20th Century Fox’s lawyers, plus the studio for editing his longer cut down to “a confusing 93 minutes.” “Babylon will probably have a good first weekend,” he says, “but the second weekend we’re going to lose 30%.” (This is actually wildly optimistic — we bet it loses 105 percent.) “I should have chosen a studio that has guts,” he says. “Fox was just trying to get a PG-13 movie. I’m ready to go to war against them, but I can’t because they don’t give a shit.”
So where does Kassovitz go from here? Back to France, we imagine — it’s hard to imagine an American studio giving him anything to do now. Directors whose shitty sci-fi movies are nickeled and dimed into shittier sci-fi movies are supposed to shut up and take it, Matthieu! This is America!
Masters of Scifi - Babylon A.D. Director Mathieu Kassovitz Describes a Disastrous Production [SciFi Scanner/AMC via Defamer]‘Babylon A.D.’ Director Matthieu Kassovitz Talks Up His Movie: ‘Pure Violence and Stupidity’