(Don't) Do It Again Dept.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2014-06-27 14:00:00 No comments

On the occasion of yet another remake of a lightning-in-a-bottle production, one most likely doomed to the same ignominy as the RoboCop reboot (god, just typing those words leaves such a terrible taste in the mind):

Please Don't Ask Hollywood To Reboot The Same Old Ideas - This Is Infamous

I don’t want to watch a copy of [Predator] projected up on the big screen, leading to those inevitable comparisons where it just can’t quite measure up to the original. I want something bold, something new, something different, something cool. I want the spirit of that original film. I want it to stir up something near how that first film made me feel when I initially watched it. However, I don’t want the same movie.

Emphasis mine.

I'm starting to think it may be impossible to overestimate the importance of what's being touched on here. It's not the same thing again that we really want, but the charge that comes with having something really new and interesting come into the room and whip off its shirt, so to speak. But because it's so difficult to actually produce something new and interesting, we end up settling for the illusion of the new. End result: the new thing becomes all the harder to actually appreciate when it finally does show up -- viz., the generally feeble box-office performance of Edge of Tomorrow.

Remember Paul Krugman's discussion of English food? Deprive people of good options for long enough and after a while they'll assume they don't have any. Surround people with a culture made prominently of remakes and adaptations, and is it any wonder after a while the actual original soon becomes an alien quantity?

I have noticed that the more I circle this subject, the more I come back to a few key tenets. For us to simply produce the original thing isn't enough; it has to become an actual known quantity, and flourish in favorable soil. If the world doesn't provide such soil for you, then it falls to you to go and find a suitable plot of it somewhere. The work involved to do that puts a person at a disadvantage; they can only reach so many people on their own. But it might well be better to reach the few people that do matter, the few people whose taste buds are alive and functioning, than the many who are indifferent or actively hostile to such flavors.

Here's two other things, though. 1) I could be wrong. 2) I hope I am. But so far it doesn't look likely. The actual art of producing something new might well be seen as downright quaint.

Tags: culture movies remakes