Xavier Dolan, 26, is a budding new director hailing from Montreal, Canada. He is also being hailed as one of the most exciting young directors of our time, having directed I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats and Mommy all to critical acclaim. However, a couple of days ago he was involved in a row with Netflix UK over the streaming of one of his films – Mommy.
In an open letter to the streaming site he claimed that they had manipulated the aspect ratio of his film. Yes it sounds very precious, but the aspect ratio, 1:1, was a stylistic choice to add emotional resonance and by Netflix opening it up to 1.85:1, as Dolan claims in his letter, they disregard “the narratively-crucial sentiment of social oppression elicited by this aspect ratio“.
He continued with: “You did not direct this movie. You did not write this movie. You did not produce this movie. So can anyone or anything except me warrant the liberty you took upon my work? No“. His words were not ignored by Netflix, who have responded promptly to his complaints by restoring Mommy to its original aspect ratio and apologising via Twitter.
Xavier Dolan has two more projects lined up for the future: It’s Only the End of the World and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. In the meantime, you can now enjoy Mommy on Netflix as the director intended for you and if you wanted to read Dolan’s whole rant, then check out his open letter below.
— Xavier Dolan (@XDolan) January 4, 2016