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Dawn Of The Dead
I have just watched "Dawn Of The Dead" on FilmFour. No, not George A. Romero's classic zombie feature, but a remake. A remake that is, from memory, practically scene-for-scene identical.
I can understand well if some things could not be achieved in the original and newer technology makes this stuff possible (for example, the nuclear scene in T2 was to be proceeded by a vision of big holes opening in the ground all over the place, big unknown silos, and nuclear missiles being launched - but budgetary and technological contraints left that idea on the drawing board; perhaps modern CGI could have made it happen?). I could understand if a bunch of film students got together to rewrite a lot of a film to 'improve' it, you'll see in my film reviews that depressingly often there is the genesis of an interesting idea that is never decently realised, well maybe somebody takes the idea and ditches the bimbos and turns out a decent film?
That's all fair enough.
I can even tolerate a cross-cultural remake for when the original idea is good but it is thought not to appeal to audiences in America. I tend to think of this as "ruining" a film, and as two examples I can point to:
There are lots more: "The Ring" (and sequels), "The Eye", Catherine Zeta-Jones recently remade "Mostly Martha". I believe there is a remake of "Amélie" on the way, God help us...
- "Ju-On: The Grudge"
The first film had a rough similiarity, including the non-linear time-line. The second was totally different.
- "Mon Papa C'est Hèroe" (IIRC? IMDb it!)
While we had Depardieu leading in both, the quirky charm of the film was totally lost in the remake as they didn't want their little lolita to be too pervy, while somehow missing that her provocativeness and that twisted fantasy world of hers was the point of the film, with Depardieu being an understated comic role. The American version appears played for laughs, as if the concept made them uneasy and they aren't entirely certain why they remade it.
In any case, I don't know if American producers and distributors are extremely patronising, if American audiences are extremely stupid, or if a bunch of people see a foreign idea that like and dollar signs flash in their eyes. At any rate, it is just 'assumed' that American audiences can't handle subtitled films so lots of remakes crop up, often featuring starlets of the day. (and I'm going on about American films as the British film industry is way too small to remake anything much and the French film industry is where some of the ideas get poached from!)
But somebody please explain the point of a total like-for-like remake? I mean, really, if FilmFour did a switcheroo and during one advert break ejected their media and dropped in a DVD of Romero's film, cued to resume in the right place, how many people would have noticed?
I'm sorry, I really don't understand this.
Today's word is impetuous (im-pet-yew-uss (US: im-peh-chyew-uss)), which is a word meaning hasty, impatient, impulsive, rash... a girl that does things without thinking her actions through is impetuous; but it can also be used in poetry to mean great force or violence, such as "the impetuous river".
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Last read at 13:58 on 2022/01/23.
© 2008 Rick Murray
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