Seventeen years later The Director's Cut makes its debut at the Castro Theater in San Francisco during International Film Festival, as director Mark Christopher re-cuts 54 into the film he always intended to make. It includes 45 minutes of footage which reinforces the viewer to return to 1970s epicenter of sex, drugs, celebrities and disco palace with outstanding performance by Ryan Phillippe , Breckin Meyer , Salma Hayek and Mike Myers.
San Francisco Film Society welcomed actors Ryan Phillippe, Breckin Meyer and director Mark Christopher at the screening of the movie this Friday. The atmosphere at the theater before, during and after the screening was alive and cheerful. It began with a speech from Executive Director of San Francisco Film Society, Noah Cowan who expressed his gratitude to the theater packed with people who came to see the movie.
54 showed the story of a true friendship. A bartender (Breckin Meyer), a coat-check girl (Salma Hayek), and a busboy, their love triangle, and how they become family in a weird way. Phillippe, who spends half the film naked to the waist as the young New Jersey kid who comes to "work" for the club symbolizes the sweaty disco dreams and sex and drugs ambitions of the time. Some of the footage of the movie was grained and that was because it was later found in the underground garage at the house in Los Angeles, Mark Christopher later shared with the audience. Mark also shared how he broke the news to Salma Hayek about the release of The Director's Cut and her response.
" What are you talking about? The movie was released 17 years ago", Salma said. Later adding " Let's re-record the singing part".
What surprised you most after watching The Director's Cut at the Castro Theater tonight? the audience asked Ryan Phillippe.
"Outstanding performance of Mike Myers", Ryan replied.
Breckin was excited to share the kiss scene with Ryan and how he "looked forward" watching it together with his dad, who happened to be in the audience.
Both Ryan and Breckin were excited to share their kissing scene with the audience since it was cut and replaced in the first release. "The kiss was never rehearsed" boys said.
Christopher recalled filming the scene with Christmas sparkles. It was memorable to him because of the amount of pain sharp and shiny glass sparkles caused while filming.
"Ryan was a star. He had an umbrella on top of him to protect his hair", Mark laughed.
What was the experience like during shooting?
Mark highlighted what troopers Phillipe and Meyer were. Ryan, who had cold the day they were filming the last scene of the movie when he is out on the street naked to the waist. It was minus temperatures and the sun was not out yet. Breckin who also had cold while filming the money scene with Mike Meyers .
You could not have been left disappointed after watching The Director's Cut of 54. The movie was ahead of its time when it was originally released. It was a little hard for a wide audience back then which is understandable. San Francisco Film Society made an excellent choice and truly enjoyable experience watching the original version at Castro Theater in San Francisco.
Text by: Juliet Belkin