Boundary-pushing Canadian director Xavier Dolan, known for employing striking visual presentations in his movies, is criticizing Netflix for altering the aspect ratio of his uniquely presented dramatic film Mommy.
The outspoken film auteur posted on Monday an angry letter he sent to the U.K. branch of the streaming content firm questioning why his 2015 film was presented in a modified manner. He reported being informed by fans who watched the film on Netflix.
"Who has bestowed on you the right to revise my choices, and how competently have you pondered the impact of such decision both on my film and the public," the letter states.
"Take it as it is, or remove it."
Mommy, a drama about a working class mother who enlists a neighbour to home-school her troubled son, is believed to be the first movie presented in 1:1, or square, aspect ratio.
At a few key moments, the screen expands to a more conventional 1.85:1 ratio.
A spokesperson from Canadian distributor Seville Films confirmed to CBC/Radio-Canada on Monday afternoon that the British distributor of Mommy, Metrodome, has contacted Netflix and that the company will fix the problem.
Netflix also told Dolan on Twitter that it would look into the matter.
@XDolan hi Xavier, thank you for letting us know. We are looking into this.— @NetflixUK
A bold vision
Dolan, 25, sparked film festival and industry chatter with the release of Mommy, his bold fifth feature film, last year.
"I know a lot of people are saying, 'Oh, 1:1, how pretentious,'' Dolan told The Hollywood Reporter in an August interview about the experimental attempt.
"But for me, it seems a more humble and private format, a little more fitting to these lives we're diving into."
Mommy shared the jury prize in the main competition of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and won France's Cesar Award for best foreign film in 2015.
Dolan, who also directed Adele's highly successful Hello music video in IMAX, is at work on his sixth film: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, which will be his English-language debut.