Remakes and Makeovers

(Canscene) — I recall the enthusiasm with which media (including this blog) greeted C.R.A.Z.Y at last year’s Toronto Internatonal Film Festival.

I recoil, however at the recent reports that there’s a proposal afoot to produce an English version, set in an American city instead of Montreal.

While the conflict between stern fathers and their more sensitive sons has been the subject of many books, plays and films, the very essence of the film’s success was its setting and its ethnicity. But the beauty of it was that in its particular locale and time frame the film gave us an era that while painstakingly depicted in costume settings and music was never a museum piece.

This whole business of Hollywood’s obsession with remaking previously successful films is sickening and more often than not, results have been far from successful, either artistically or financially. One recalls the disastrous second Psycho, Mr Deeds Goes to Town, the mediocre Stagecoach, The Big Sleep, The Manchurian Candidate and scores of others.

King Kong III, on the other hand, has proved the exception that King Kong II was most definitely not. And classics seem to be fare better: I recall three excellent versions of Pride and Prejudice, three of David Copperfield and several others.

Knowing well the depths to which the crass half of the move industry can sink, I await with dread the announcement that some moron is planning remakes of Citizen Kane and Casablanca. And just think! Chinatown, Butch Cassidy and Bonnie and Clyde have been around for some time.

Producers who are can look no further than their noses, sniffing out remake possibilities seem totally insensitive to the tremendous amount of original storytelling that surrounds us. Just take a look at Three Books below and I think you’ll see what I mean.
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