Filmmaker Wes Anderson doesn't believe in reworking artworks that are considered problematic today. "I don't even want the artist to change his work," said the 54-year-old American on Friday in Venice. At the film festival he presents his new short film "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar". The work, starring Ralph Fiennes and Benedict Cumberbatch, is based on a volume of short stories by British author Roald Dahl (1916-1990).
In the UK and beyond, recent changes to several classics of literature have sparked heated debate as to whether they overly alter the original work or whether the re-editions are appropriate. A number of formulations that certain social groups could perceive as discriminatory were deleted or changed from Dahl's children's books.
"I understand the motivation for this," Anderson said, but he feels committed to a school of thought that wants to leave finished works unchanged after audiences have already known them. "And of course no one who isn't an author should change someone else's book. He's dead."