If you happened to catch Brandon Cronenberg's Infinity Pool at the Sundance Film Festival, you weren't just lucky enough to be one of the first viewers to catch that mind-mending film in a theater - you were also lucky enough to catch the film's NC-17 cut. If you caught the version that's currently in theaters nationwide this weekend, that was the R-rated version.
If you're in either camp, you might be wondering about the differences between the two, and fair enough! Cronenberg explains what happened in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“Well, I wouldn’t say we shot a lot of stuff that isn’t in it. A surprising amount of stuff got through, to be honest. It’s not a fundamentally different film. There are a few changes. There’s a few interesting shots that are in the R version that are not in the unrated version. I wouldn’t say it’s as dramatically different as you might expect. I supervised both cuts."
He goes on to add:
“The ratings issue with NC-17 is generally specifically a US theatrical issue because of the way that ratings work here. In a lot of territories, there is no problem. I can’t see in the UK or in France there being any issues with ratings for this film. You make the film you want to make. You’re pragmatic about it, ‘cuz I want people to see it, I want people to see it in theaters, I want it to get the best release possible. You have to be pragmatic about it when you’re in film because there are so many weird forces shaping what you’re doing.”
None of this is to say that non-Sundance audiences won't get a shot to see Cronenberg's un-tweaked version of the film. When pressed about that version seeing the light of day, the director says “There is a plan for it. I don’t know where we’ve landed with it, but I know there is something in the works.” So, perhaps something we'll see added to the inevitable Blu-ray/4K set?
We'll have to wait and see, but for the time being it's nice to know that Cronenberg (and the film's distributor, NEON) are interested in giving Infinity Pool fans a chance to see the film in its original state. Stay tuned for further updates on all this as they become available, and in the meantime: don't let this stop you from catching the R-rated version of Cronenberg's film while it's still in theaters. This one's nightmarish and grotesque even with a few tweaks!