Have you ever wanted to watch "(500) Days of Summer" in order? Now's your chance.
Marc Webb's quintessential, meta romantic comedy is about to turn ten years old this August. Where does the time go?!
For those unfamiliar, the film follows Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a failed architect who meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel) at his humdrum office job. Despite her assertion that she doesn't believe in relationships, Tom falls hard for Summer from day one.
But instead of watching their love story bloom, grow, and then (spoiler alert) eventually wither and die, in that order, we get a non-linear account that takes us through the highs and lows of their romance. Which is great, but just like any non-chronologic storyline, it makes you wonder how the drama plays chronologically.
Luckily, you don't have to wonder. British editor Michal Zak has put together a recut showing the movie's 500 days in chronological order. (Zak's version just happens to be 500 seconds long, too.)
Watch the video below.
(500) days, out of order
The key gimmick of the original movie is that Tom is reflecting on all the various days he spent with Summer, and usually out of order.
As a result, the audience will see Tom and Summer together in IKEA, having a horrible time (day 282). Then the very next scene has the pair in the same IKEA, happy and seemingly in love (day 34).
Entertainment Weekly writer Owen Gleiberman recently wondered what it would be like to watch these days in order.
Dedicated fans have already done the work to figure out what scenes would go where, complete with time codes. Zak's recut is a great example of this idea practically applied.
You can invite fan engagement
In his EW article, Gleiberman mentioned how (500) Days of Summer is similar to Christopher Nolan's Memento. Both films are told nonlinearly. However, the special edition DVD of Memento offered fans a way to see the movie chronologically.
Because there's no option to view (500) Days of Summer the same way, editors had to do it themselves. Zak's recut is not only an exercise in editing but also an example of ways audiences can interact with artistic content.
Don't be afraid to tell stories using unconventional methods. It might attract engaged audiences who will play with your material in fun ways.
What's next? Check out some of our other favorite recuts
Editing can have a huge effect on the tone and style of a film. Just take a look at Goodfellas recut in the style of Bohemian Rhapsody. You can see how similar changes can turn Dumb and Dumber into an indie hit. You might even take it a step further with special effects and make a famous Star Wars scene a fast-paced action sequence.
What are some of your favorite recut movie scenes? Let us know in the comments!