Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hollywood remakes

Why do these Hollywood hotshots insist on remaking foreign films that are just so good and effective in their original language that there is no need for an inferior imitation,albeit with 'big' names. What's made me cross about this today is the rumoured remake of the German film The Lives of Others. Now I've not yet seen this, but by the weekend I will have because it left Amazon on Friday and I should get it tomorrow. It is meant to be a superb film, so why bother redoing it. What is wrong with watching a film with subtitles?

Now I've started on this rant I will talk about one of the most effective films I've ever seen, the ending of which I still think about some 20 years on - the Dutch film The Vanishing. This was remade with Sandra Bullock and Kiefer Sutherland with a totally different ending. I didn't see it but heard that they'd totally distorted the original film and it made me so mad.

I love foreign language films; I probably prefer them to most commercial Hollywood movies except for anything that features Meryl Streep. I know that a lot of people find her a bit too mannered and stylised, but for me she can do no wrong. I think she is the best actress in the world.

continued on Sunday.
last night we watched The Lives of Others and it truly is a remarkable film. One would think that a German film set in the 80's about the Stasi would be of limited appeal and interest but trust me on this - it is a superb engrossing film and when it finished we were so stunned that we sat watching the credits in German, too moved and into the experience to actually get up. I'm going to give it a score that I have never given to a film - a full ten. When I've done my French Fancy Film Score previously I've always felt there was a little something that the director or those involved could maybe have slightly improved on, but with this film it is as
perfect as perfect can be.


Anonymous said...

The Lives Of Others is that rare kind of film that makes you take your 0 to 10 rating scale and throw it out of the window.

Films that were once a 9.8 or a 10 become a 7.

To remake it is pointless as you will need to remove so much for it to appeal to Joe Average that it will no longer resemble the masterwork that it is. If you are not going to butcher it, why not show the original?

marc aurel said...

On the whole, Americans make films for purely commercial reasons, while the rest of the world, and very few Americans, are inspired by political and/ or moral issues, while still hoping for a resonable return on the producers' investments. Imho.