Director’s cuts: sometimes they’re the definitive version that the auteur wanted to make all along, and sometimes they’re a demonstration of why letting the director have the final cut isn’t always such a great idea. Either way, until recently, the music video has been largely untouched by the entire director’s cut phenomenon, but the recent appearance of a new version of Nirvana’s iconic “Heart-Shaped Box” video got us thinking about other alternate cuts of music videos. Here are a selection.
Nirvana — “Heart-Shaped Box”
It’s fascinating to watch this new cut of a video we’ve seen about a gazillion times. Watching the two versions side by side, we see that they’re identical until the third verse — the original features a long shot of Cobain singing with his bandmates sitting motionless behind him, while the new cut returns to the video’s weirdly surreal narrative, with more footage of Ku Klux Klan girl and the woman in the skinless fat suit. It’s not radically different, but it’s interesting.