Just two years after directing the internationally-acclaimed cult classic Diva, French director Jean-Jacques Beineix made the 1983 drama The Moon in the Gutter (La Lune dans le caniveau). An adaptation of David Goodis’ 1953 novel of the same name, Beineix’s film follows Loretta, a rich amateur photographer who has her sights set on dock worker Gerard, a man determined to avenge his sister, who was raped by an unknown assailant. Starring Nastassja Kinski and Gérard Depardieu, The Moon in the Gutter won a César Award (production design), but sadly failed to win over viewers and critics upon its theatrical release, most likely due to it primarily being a film based on mood, rather than one driven by plot. Still, its dream-like quality and vivid cinematography helped turn this initially misunderstood drama into a smaller cult movie.

And perhaps it would have eventually got even more recognition had Beineix had the chance to do with The Moon in the Gutter what he had done with his Academy Award-nominated 1986 erotic psychological drama Betty Blue (37° 2 le matin)—and that is to release a director’s cut. Sadly, his request was not only denied by the Gaumont Film Company, but the director was also told that all of the extra footage was destroyed following the film’s theatrical flop.