Thursday, 23 June 2022

WHAT IF STAR WARS WAS MADE IN ORDER?

 


WHAT IF 

STAR WARS 

WAS MADE IN ORDER?



This argument had to come sooner or later: What if director George Lucas had made a fantastical error by not making his movies in 'chronological order'? What if Star Wars had begun at the very beginning? What if instead of A New Hope we had The Phantom Menace - premiering across our movie theatres way back in 1977 ??  

That’s a lot of what-ifs. Thats like saying what if JFK wasn’t assassinated or Titanic hadn’t hit that iceberg? Lets face it, it would be a drag. It would be like having to read the entire Bible from beginning to end, when all you really want, is all the juicy bits, like: Noah and the Great flood, Moses and Christ taking on the Roman Empire. 

Its easy to say that The Phantom Menace should have been the first Star Wars movie but in hindsight there would have been repercussions: Running Star Wars in chronological order, starting with The Phantom Menace (circa 1977) would NOT have paid off in the '70s and heres why.  

For starters nobody would have got all the fuss about Anakin Skywalker. (Darth who???) Jabba would have been humanoid (played by Belfast actor Declan Mulholland) and to attempt to (un)create the many visual effects without CGI would have pushed the production team way over budget and 20th Century Fox would have cancelled the project.

Something as complex as Star Wars had to start somewhere. The original idea was something like Jedi Kane Starkiller and a complex story of revenge, cloning and where Han Solo was a ten foot tall green lizard in spandex. This was essentially the look of  Star Wars in 1974. It would take Lucas a little while longer to realise that this version could never be made with the current technology and opted for a simpler idea but even that became another epic story. 

In the end, Lucas realised Star Wars could only be filmed if he took one portion of it and make that into a movie - which later became A New Hope.  But back in 1977 it was simply called 'Star Wars' because folks, nobody had a clue what Star Wars was. So with that in mind, it was far simpler to use this first film as a vehicle to showcase the entire Star Wars concept.  

Lets also not forget that the original Star Wars very nearly didn't get made at all. NOBODY believed in Lucas's vision. They just went along with it because he had a little Hollywood clout. Lucas didn't help things by his shyness. His incessant mumblings and lack of stage direction frustrated actors and crew alike. 

‘Faster with more intensity’ would be his stock direction cue. 

To make matters worse, the British film crew downed tools every day at 5pm and production was dangerously close to getting shut down. Shooting the Tatooine scenes in Tunisia turned into a nightmare: as film sets got destroyed in sand storms and the crew mutinied to go back to England (presumably for more tea). 

If that wasn’t enough headache, the Special Fx Team were way behind schedule, frustrating matters. Without a break, Lucas desperately tried to get the film finished and it almost dam near killed him. In the end Lucas had to fire his editor and cut the film himself and perhaps this single act saved Star Wars.  

Looking back, it really was an ambitious project hindered at every turn. But Lucas's genius lay in turning each of those hindrances on their heads and the rest as they say is history. It was the biggest gamble of his career and it paid off but had Lucas gone with some half baked chronological story such as The Phantom Menace, the Star Wars Franchise would have sunk like a lead balloon and call it what you will, that is a educated guess and likely how it would have gone down. 

Take also into account that Science Fiction wasn’t terribly favoured by Hollywood at the time. What we got on the cinema screens in 1977, was basically a compromise between what Lucas wanted and what could be agreed upon by the lever pullers. 

Perhaps we wouldn’t have a franchise at all if the executives had gotten their way. The deplorable Christmas Special almost destroyed Star Wars. But that’s another story. 

All in all, The Phantom Menace could never have been made without establishing the concept of Star Wars with A New Hope and that’s evolution, folks.



Friday, 1 April 2022

THE MUSIC OF TOMORROW

 

APP -TASTIC : 
THE MUSIC OF TOMORROW 



In the wake of the latest Ed Sheeran plagiarism case, it will soon become fight or flight time for most musicians, struggling to survive in the post pandemic/New Cold War  world of the 21st century.  All in all, if we are not vigilant, we may see the end- game for rock music as we know it. Plagiarism is a very loose word. Particularly when it comes to music. And music in itself is always evolving into something else.  

One idea builds upon another and follows trends. If there wasn’t a little leeway, then we wouldn’t have Rock & Roll sprouting from the blues, or Blue Grass evolving from Country music. Heavy Metal and Punk is the extreme of Rock & Roll and Grunge is built upon Punk and Heavy Metal combined. So no band can ever exist in a vacuum from other musicians. They learn and thrive off influencing each other. And yes, that includes lifting guitar riffs but hopefully to make them into something new.  It draws the line between plagiarism and homage, it defines copying from emulating and without that give and take system, there is no future for Rock & Roll. 

There was a time when The Beatles had to cross Liverpool just to knock on a fellas door and find out what a B9 chord sounded like. And if it wasn’t for the Navy and the shipping trades, Rock & Roll itself would never have proliferated across Britain, Europe and into Communist Russia. With the advent of the internet, everyone knows who the Foo Fighters are, even kids forming rock bands, in what we class as third-world countries and war-torn provinces such as Iraq etc. But that proliferation might all end in the wake of unchecked artificial intelligences. 

Put it this way: once rock music becomes 'algor-rythmic' or app friendly, it will spell certain doom for all musicians concerned. The digital age (with its army of Copyright Bots) will essentially block all artists from attempting to put their tunes online, unless it passes certain music ‘requirements’. Thus there will be no more blues music or rock n roll because anyone creating a song with a 12bar riff, will be subject to copyright. Any A-minor to G’s or three chord progressions, would cease altogether because there’s only so many combinations and all of them and (again) would be subject to copyright. That’s before we even get into Melodies of songs and that in itself would be up against the firing squad, if we allow a free-for-all with lawsuits, on any given doe-ray-me. 

 Dave Grohl would be out of a job. Drummers would get sued for playing Motown and disco beats. And it wont end there. Drum & Bass, Hip Hop, traditional Rap etc anything that uses a ‘sampled beat’ or a borrowed rhythm would End. 

Technology itself would become the judge of what music we should be playing. Digital guitars (with laser strings) and other instruments might even flag you with a copyright warning for strumming the chords that sound a bit like Stairway. Hell such futuristic instruments might not even let you play a chord at all, unless it passed some Rhythmic Authentication app that ultimately only allows Gobbledy-Gook to be played. You wanna play that A-minor to G idea? Forget it. Your new Yamaha Digi-Lazer-Guitar3000 has now blocked your ass from ever playing that riff. 

So yeah, in the future it would probably get to a point where music, (as we know it) would become unlistenable and only good for radio jingles to sell shower products. In order to survive, young up-and-coming musicians of the future, would have to replace the traditional 4/4 timing we all love, with new timings altogether, so complex, to the point that most conventional western music would go out the window and Dave Grohl wouldn’t know what to do with himself. 

Thus the music of tomorrow will be as alien to us, as our current music might be to the ears of the Victorians. That said, rules are made to be broken. And that is what musical expression is really all about. 


Keeping up With the Gardening - Revisited



Keeping up With the Gardening
"...In a decaying society, art if it is truthful,
Must also reflect decay...”
Ernst Fischer
What is the appeal of urban decay? Perhaps we secretly look forward to a science fictional scenario in which our indomitable human empire will finally fall prey to the ravages of nature and time. On many occasions in history, mankind's technologies, his architectural achievements, his various methods of global dominance have been destroyed by the power of nature. Let us look at it this way, by putting the scenario on your front doorstep; Will Portsmouth fall sway to the power of nature? If our economy collapsed, then yes, it is a possibly. Who’s to say that our workforces here would not be lured away by more lucrative contracts elsewhere? We all need money but if the current trend of austerity measures persists, then the workers in Portsmouth could be forced to find the next new contract, or proverbial gold mine further and further afield, leaving Portsmouth a virtual ghost town. Are we to rely entirely on tourism? Only if the tourists come but if the economic downturn is country wide, it is unlikely that Portsmouth could survive on tourism indefinitely. Its remaining population whether placated on benefits, or specialist trained are too ill equipped to deal with the rising tide of crippling economics. They too will have to find work or benefits elsewhere, whilst the city itself falls to ruin as foliage creeps back in, weeds overtake the streets and very few council staff (if any) will be left to maintain it all. 

Climate change will also affect Portsmouth’s economic growth.  Rising tides will erode the sea shore further and further. Talk of sea walls to stave off the seas, is a possibility but still only that.  The Hampshire County Council Climate Change Commission in 2007 stated that: ‘without improvements to the cities flood deference’s, climate change will undoubtedly significantly impact on the economic well-being of Portsmouth…’ How we could arrive at a virtual ghost town, swathed in weeds is complicated but also quite simple. It boils down to good or bad management. It boils down to communication or lack of. It boils down to education, the availability of goods and other services, skilled work and what attracts us to such places. It boils down to where our priorities are founded. If there are no jobs, then the population moves on or we turn to crime altogether and ghettos and slums become the norm. A bad economy cannot be blamed on any one person, any more than climate change itself. If the economy is badly structured in the first place and if we fail to see the forces of nature around us as a contributing factor to how that economy is shaped, then we deny all reality. Who is to say we do not affect the composition of our atmosphere by the amount of pollution pumped into it by our factories vehicles and weapons of mass destruction? On all fronts: Architecturally, environmentally and economically, our present systems are unsustainable in the 21st Century.  But is it inevitable that all human activities on Earth will succumb to nature, especially given our current abuses of the environment? What is the common factor in the failure of past societies? Call it capitalism, call it greed, call it stupidity. Has it always been the case that we are unable to respect and meet the needs of everyone in society? When we invented agriculture, we began to work the land about us, cutting back the forests and farming large stretches of the countryside until industrialization drew millions of people to the cities only to be ensnared in the detriments of mechanization. One only has to look at the history of the Luddite Movement as an example, where skilled workers rebelled against the automations brought on by the industrial revolution. Nowadays, in our "concrete jungles", citizens are alienated from nature and forced to work by a monopoly that constrains us in a vacuum from reality. We fight over a corner on a pale blue dot that hangs in the void. Thus when the illusion falters, the vines start creeping back in and in this respect; I have often thought that civilization is really about keeping up with the gardening…


Clarence Pier
Southsea, Portsmouth
Built in 1861, Clarence Pier has been extended and renovated a great deal since then. It was severely damaged by a Luftwaffe air raid during the Second World War, but not refurbished until 1961. South Parade Pier, once the seaside's mainstay attraction, has now closed after a steady decline over decades. Clarence Pier's future isn't bright either, and may become too costly to run and with most locals forced to leave the area in search of work elsewhere, the Pier will eventually close to the public sometime in the latter part of this century. Over the course of the next ten years the area will suffer from severe storm damage, high tides will have swept shingle into most parts of the lower levels and across the main sea road towards the Clarence Pier Bus Interchange, swamping most vehicles in the deluge. Thus, the area may produce many rare forms of flora, boasting some of the most intricate biospheres along the south coast...
 
 
The Kings Theatre -Auditorium

The Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Portsmouth.
If Portsmouth was economically crippled beyond repair, then even such majestic architectures as the Kings Theatre would fall eventually to the might of external influences. Wood beams must rot with termites and water damage. Root systems find their way into the substructure, causing roofing to collapse and opening it to the elements. Alcoves and balconies that once seated patrons now become nests for various forms of flora and fauna...
Kings Theatre
View From Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth
 One has only to consider that such things are merely provisional, that all we can hope for is the eternal staving off of nature, whose vines and creepers wait patiently for the time when the gardening becomes too much for us to cope with...
A3 Bridge
A 3 Bridge (leaving Portsmouth)
As one of the main arteries leading into Portsmouth, (connecting it directly to London) with thousands of vehicles crossing over and under it everyday, such bridges as these are particularly susceptible to inclement weather. Rainwater has the knack of getting into everything, including cracks formed in the brittle concrete of bridges and buildings, a process known as imbibition, by which water molecules seep into a porous material causing it to swell, enabling plant life to creep their eventual way into the joints and supports that make up the backbone of such bridges. Water molecules within the root system expand, eventually breaking concrete apart, purely because concrete has no room for expansion and excess pressure from roots growing within, will force it apart. Bridges such as these, may stand more chance of lasting a little longer than their conventional contemporaries, simply because of their arched design. The roads beneath them however will not. Our 20th century road way systems were never designed for the onslaught of the 21st Century. With growing concerns over pot holes developing over the countries ridged artery systems, our roads cannot be maintained forever. Motorway maintenance costs on average £3000 per mile per year. The M1 alone is 200 miles long and costs £600,000 per year to maintain. Privatization of our motorways to foreign investors will only exasperate an already difficult financial situation; competing companies will only add further problems by increasing traffic on our already overloaded roadways, furthering road fatalities, due to the state of the roads and so on. For road taxes will rise respectively, to maintain roads that still require by-passes. But by-passes mean more by-passes, causing gridlock and endless toll gates, eventually forcing non commercial motorists (i.e. not transporting goods) to use other means of transport altogether.
The vast amounts of money thrown at the problem of our present system, is overly cyclical: Taxpaying motorists ultimately are unable to afford to run their vehicles. Staff shortages and lowly wages mean the very petroleum in the tankers will be not be delivered to their outlets as the cost of living increases.  The inefficiency of our present day economy, creates a domino effect on our very lives. For we as taxpayers are forced to foot the bill, a bill owed to a debt based system. Businesses large and small owe each other, we borrow money but we need to pay it back, with interest and if we cannot, then we either borrow more money or fold altogether, leaving buildings and infrastructure in a state of disuse. Like the gold rushes of the 19th Century, those people move on to more prosperous lands but their legacies remain, leaving potential ghost towns behind. Who is to pay for their upkeep is uncertain. For example: Like our roadways, the larger the infrastructure (of say the Spinnaker Tower) the more difficult it becomes to maintain it…
Spinnaker Tower
Gunwharf Quays and Spinnaker Tower as viewed from Gosport
With its iconic shape, chosen by local residents due to its association with Portsmouth’s Maritime history, the Spinnaker Tower has unfortunately been over shadowed by its own controversial history. Originally referred to as the Millennium Tower and at a height of 170 meters (a shortfall in itself) extensive delays, changes in contractors and budget overruns meant that the lottery funded tower was not complete for the Millennium Celebrations and eventually opened to the public some five years after its initial deadline. Notorious for its extensive construction costs (36 Million, 11 million paid by Taxpayers)  many disgruntled residents may recall the flurry surrounding the towers eventual opening in 2005, whereby the Project manager and representatives from Mowlem (the builders) and Maspero (the Italian Lift suppliers) became trapped in the Towers infamous glass elevator, suspended some 40 feet in the air. Even by 2012, the lift never worked properly and by 2015 was eventually removed altogether.
    As the centre point of Gun Wharf Keys and the historic Portsmouth Dockyards, the tower is extremely susceptible to the elements and must be maintained with weatherproofing paint at all times. Without regular maintenance, the high salt content of the area will eventually peel away its protective paint exposing the concrete beams beneath. The tower will then begin to develop cracks in its super structure, allowing water to seep in and corrode vital metal supports, some of which will become loose and eventually fall upon the concourse beneath. To paint the tower, it costs on average £300,000.  Subcontractors Beirrun were given the task of painting the tower. Subsequently their business folded. The paint, supplied by Silka, was supposed to last twenty years. Due to bad weather conditions it has already began to peel. To counter this it would mean painting the tower on a regular basis. This could be anything from five to ten years depending on the battering it gets from the elements and how well the paint itself is applied. The application of paint requires surface preparation. One cannot simply apply paint to external structures without this consideration. If the surface is not sanded down or the paint is applied in cold/ damp conditions, it will eventually peel and leave areas exposed, leading to water seepage and cracks, requiring further maintenance. More money is required, the logistics of who will do the job is open to conjecture.

   Within the next few decades however, if funding for the towers maintenance falls short, it could become another scenario that we have seen before with the problems of the Tricorn shopping centre. It could mean the Spinnaker Tower will face closer to the general public, as the entire area thus becomes unsafe and falls prey to the rigors of time. Unkempt foliage will eventually work its way across Gunwharf, into the cafe at the base of the tower and work its way up inside the Spinnaker Tower itself. It’s ribbed like structure will become the basis of a trestle, encouraging vines and various floras to creep up the tower until they engulf the derelict cafe at the top. Eventually, the site may well become a centerpiece of ornithological interest, as sea gulls, starlings and other coastal birds begin to reside within the various stairwells, lattice supports and other parts of the abandoned Spinnaker tower...

Guild Hall Square
Portsmouth
Guild Hall Square: with crumbling Civic Offices and Clock Tower 
The recession is not only about lack of work, it is also about a mind set that has existed since the dawn of the industrial revolution. The idea that capitalism holds the key to our comfortable living is an illusion, simply because the idea of running a community on such a system is ultimately flawed.  If we regard the mechanisms by which it runs on, we only need to look at the state of our own environment. The Guildhall square was heavily bombed during the Second World War in Luftwaffe air raids. It has been rumored that the Luftwaffe were sold the additives to their petrol driven planes by American conglomerates. Money is always the problem, for such corporations have no allegiance to any flag.  It is time that we took a more mature look at the potentials of pulling our resources together, rather than fighting over them. It is time we looked to other alternatives rather than the stalemate concept of money. This could be classed as an open source system or library system. If our civilization cannot understand this, then we have no hope in keeping up with the gardening. 
Look at our present paradigm: in a recession, schools and colleges close accordingly, highly skilled work then becomes scarce, communities must then move further a field in order to survive. Leaving behind them relative ghost cities (such as what Portsmouth might become) to the mercy of nature. This is true of every empire that has come and gone before us, for once the resources have been used up in that locality, the dynasty of Egypt and  Rome and so on, were all doomed to dwindle and perish over the passing centuries.

News Centre – Hilsea

  
...and unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.
Ernst Fischer
In conclusion, it is time now, that we learn from these mistakes and begin the process of working together. Whether, Portsmouth unites in football with Southampton, or the nations of the world unite as one planet, we need to live together, instead of a series of petty divided countries. Much like gardening, we can shape our economies to suit our needs, we can trim them, prune them, allow them to flourish but we must keep them in check.
So long as we keep up with the gardening we have a chance. So please - trim your hedges, mow your lawns, prune your rose bushes. Before it is too late... 



The Necessity for Utopia

Do we yearn for a utopia ? Perhaps.

Utopia may not be like the imagery I have provided of course, originally these were intended as personalised montages, to get an agoraphobic friend out of his house by enticing him with a flavour of the things he enjoys the most. In that respect I apologise in advance for any sexism that they may be employed but in defence I would question why our society deems clothing as an act of being civilised, when we clearly are not civilised at all. However the purpose of this essay is not about sexism but to discuss the over arching necessity for Utopia, or a least something that is better than what we have now.

To create a better world from the one in which we inhabit, is widely considered by most to be  naive and foolhardy and yet some would argue that the systems we currently live by are slowly destroying our eco systems and sustainable alternatives must be implemented. 

So surely it could be argued that Utopianist's are not dreamers after all but realists, selfless and driven,  inclined to literal truth and pragmatism.
 

 
The rhetoric against the Utopian ideal however, is plagued by the put down, which in itself is naive. The logic behind this,  is that a Utopia is an impossible goal mankind can never reach. Or so we are told. But who is telling us this ?  Economists, members of numerous political parties, the bloke in the pub, your friends and family, all with a vestige interest in keeping all things tied to the things that they consider to be normality. 

Yet is it normal a man to remain cooped up his house for years on end ?  Driving his family and friends to despair, one of the countless millions across the globe who suffer from this rather bizarre fear of open spaces.  Is this normal behaviour ? Or does this complaint vertically integrate into a column of numerous other social and mental disorders stemming from the advent of our industrial age?

When one considers how overly industrial our environments have become, so coldly mechanised,  so unwieldily and unsustainable - is it any wonder many of us wish for a better world ? In fact we demand it. Consider how so many of our current day ailments are a direct product of the environment we have created. Consider agoraphobia for example. This irrational fear of open spaces, confining a man to the limitations of a life indoors. We all try to help, but our efforts are all in vain. The doctors give him pills and therapy, his wife gives him encouragement but none of this makes a blind bit of difference to an individual who regards the outside world as hostile and threatening. That everyone and everything in it is negative to which one would be lying if they were to say there wasn't a certain amount of truth in that aspect. 
  
Perhaps we are looking in the wrong places to cure such infirmity. Perhaps instead of trying to treat the patient, we should be trying to treat the environment. Ah ! but it would cost trillions to do that, I hear you say. Maybe so but the same was probably said about the concept of a pocket calculator .

Never the less, our environment is hostile enough without the human race exasperating things further, yet we find ourselves still divided and fighting over finite resources that  should be shared by all.  Is it normal to wage yet another war on our tiny little blue planet?  And to what end is war but to overthrow dictatorships and implement the US Senates brand of democracy ? Regardless of all that, we live by the dictatorship wether we like it or not. But this is governed by a much higher order than man himself, an order bestowed relentlessly by the immutable laws of Mother Nature. 

For she can be more inhospitable than anything man could ever offer. All his nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction are insignificant to the brutality which nature  deliver's upon the planets of our universe, every single second. It is perhaps odd to think of Nature beyond the birds, bees and trees but all things environmental, should be considered as such. In the cold subzero temperatures of space, where an ejected politicians blood would boil, our little world makes its 365 day trip across a frozen black void drawn around a star in an elliptical orbit that hurls us forward at an astonishing 18.55 miles per second, or 66,700 miles per hour.

Returning to Earth, your street, your house and your television set, one only needs to tune into the daily slaughter of our own kind and think little of it other than accepting it as the way of the world. Anything else would be imposing against this norm, this senseless killing, waring, judging, mocking material insanity called the human race. Those in power perpetuate it and the rest of us must endure.

This interminable ethos has to be questioned and ultimately reformed. That is the problem and also the solution .  Considering the amount of money that is poured into cancer research or new ways to cure agoraphobia and so on, what if this money was also used to build a more sustainable and healthier environment ? For surely if all that money, instead of ending lives was used on saving lives, making our world sustainable. In doing this we would also eliminate or at least curb the rising social mental disorders inherent within our society.

Would such ailments exist if the environment were a more positive and healthier one? Depending on where you live, this is also dependent on the level of crime in your area. Many of us have either been a victim of crime or have known someone that has.  Certain underprivileged areas in  London, Manchester or even Portsmouth, are not the most inviting of places, at best, they are tolerable and at their worst, a living nightmare to those trapped within these concrete jungles.


On  the other hand, perhaps one day, it will no longer be deemed a pipe dream of Utopianists and scoffed at by Label Junkies, but will be an absolute necessity, for our planets continued survival.


Simulacra



Why is Hollywood obsessed with Simulacra ?
This paper will focus on Hollywood’s growing trend towards simulacrum, the remakes that have come to dominate the cinema. It is the aim of this paper to understand this tendency
by semiotic review and conclude with certain recommendations .


INTRODUCTION

Film Director John Huston once said: “There is a willful lemming-like persistence in remaking past successes time after time. They can’t make them as good as they are in our memories, but they go on doing them and each time it’s a disaster. Why don’t we remake some of our bad pictures … and make them good?” (Valdez)

Our cultural memories of films, the way we remember them, is under threat by the distant storm clouds of consumerism, by the way simulacrum itself is replicating another strain of adaptation, spawned from the many heads of the Hollywood Hydra. The common pattern within the mechanism of this hydra is to replicate as much as possible. The blockbuster age of the sequel has now taken another evolutionary step: The remake or re-imagining assimilates what ever the original was felt to commercially lack, such as subtle expositions and re-packages them for the Hollywood vision of eye candy.

The compulsion to tag on action scenes which the original simply didn’t need is also prevalent: Just compare the two endings of any original and its contemporary remake and you will get the general idea. As these writings come to print, Back To the Future (1985) director Robert Zemeckis will be in talks with Disney about re-making Yellow Submarine in CGI,5  Added to this confusion, Spielberg will be in talks with Universal about re-making E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982). Google any film from Citizen Kane to Gone With the Wind and somebody somewhere is in a office in Hollywood, in talks about what’s ‘hot’ for a remake. Hollywood has this tendency for simulacrum, for copying formulas and reworking them for maximum profit within a block buster format. 

It is apparent that the Hollywood remake has become the new sequel, replacing the age of Rambo III, Rocky IV, Friday the 13th part VIII and so on. Invariably one has only to step back and see that the remake is not merely a random occurrence within the Hollywood sphere and that the success of any remade series or film is not totally dependent on blind luck but in essence : simulacrum. 

There is a reason for why so many remakes are being made and there is a pattern to which they falter. What is more, is its blandenising effect on the film industry by perpetual remakes or other simulacrum in order to keep the cash mill turning. Hollywood, like all businesses, is out there to make profit: writer Oliver James argues that, we live in the age of selfish capitalism and so it is no surprise that quantity ultimately over comes quality. For this is the age of disposability, rather than sustainability, corporatocracy rather than family run business’s, marketing strategies rather than the peoples choice. It is almost as if Raymond Williams fears of American colonialism have made us in the Uk, subject to the branding of American globalisation, for even our Tv sitcoms, such as The Office have become remade in the guise of the American image. In Europe and as far as Japan, Hollywood has reached out and adapted films and Tv serials into an American format. On the one hand many American remakes have improved on the original but then again Americanizing a French film is another aspect entirely, a trend Hollywood went through quite vivaciously in the 1990’s and in post 911. Acceptance that the  Hollywood remake has now become the new sequel, is not enough: One must also take into account where the franchise for a movie or Tv series has reached its optimum limit and the executive decision is made to re-imagine it for blockbusting maximum profit. The main arsenal within this campaign is the rhetoric for nowness, an aspect that this dissertation will focus on, baring in mind that nowness is also the commonality within all films. The idea of nowness in films is also the problem: a question that arose during this investigation would ponder over whether there were other elements that constituted the remake other than nowness and if so what where they?

Was a remake simply the makeup of a poor adaptation? Why was a film such as Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) so close to the 1933 original? How did Jackson understand the mechanisms of the adaptation that enabled him to enjoy the success of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? 

Another question arose concerning Spielberg’s remake of  The War of the Worlds: what was the  aim of this remake other than to imitate the 1953 version, why has this story evaded a return to the source material. How did Jackson succeed with King Kong that was not achieved with Spielberg’s War of the Worlds? 
It is in the recognition of simulacrum in these remakes which this essay will address and though its detailed investigation, will try to grasp what it is about the remake that makes it so prevalent in the cinema going experience. The scope of this enquiry will not just confine itself to the silver screen but also look at the consumerism angle that cannot be ignored. Ultimately this enquiry wishes to understand the concept of the remake and answer the question as to why is Hollywood obsessed with Simulacrum? 

During this investigation, a selection of relevant literature was reviewed which identified certain common key features, which shall be disclosed within the methodology and its relationships discussed.


Literature review
The literature review will be divided into two sections: In the first section we shall briefly look at general literature such as  news paper articles and internet blogs before moving on towards  the  observations of  writers such as Druxman, Mandiburg, Eberwien and Verevis. In section 2 we shall review more centralised literature such as the various critics regarding the remakes and adaptations of: The War of the Worlds and King Kong, and how the Hollywood mechanism is understood by ,Jim Hillier Benjamin M Compaine and Douglas Gomery. The semiotic theory regarding film as viewed by Dorsky, Barthes and Williams will also be observed, in order to ascertain a specialist viewpoint of the remake and understand the mechanisms of the remake from a semiotic point of view.

Section One – What the papers say
In this section we shall review the source material at hand that enabled to build up a
case for this dissertation. Looking at various blogs on the internet, the general consensus appeared to be the same: Simon Brew’s blog on the D en of Geek website mentioned at least 38 remakes being planned by Hollywood, among them are: Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira (1988), Kinji Fukasaku’s adaptation of Battle Royal (2000), Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs (1971) based on Gordon Williams 1969 novel, The Siege of Trencher's Farm and Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) by Daphne du Maurier. Moving onto journals and magazine supplements, Sam Leith of the arts section in The Guardian, correlates the general disgruntle for the disdain of remakes: 

“…To be fair, most remakes are interested in what was so distinctive about the original-even if they go on to expunge those very elements...’The Day the Earth Stood Still’, strikingly filmed, was too black- and-white, ‘Fame’ too legwarmery; ‘The Office’ too British; ‘The Vanishing’ and ‘The Ring’  too foreign...” 
At first glance this may seem fairly self explanatory to the reader, who no doubt has some gripe themselves about a classic film remade into a Hollywood blockbuster, to which this paper is concerned. 7Other newspapers such as the Sunday Times Culture supplement headlines offered : 
“…IT’S THE 1980’S ALL OVER AGAIN…” 

Reporter Stephen Armstrong of that supplement, reeled off a list of remakes as long as this dissertation: From Karate Kid with Jackie Chan to the return of Freddy Krugar in a Nightmare on Elm St, the appeal of the remake stems from nostalgia:  “…Take Warner’s (Brothers) Batman…” noted one Hollywood executive, in this article “…it goes from little kid comic to television series, then a series of big screen features that were huge money-makers…then Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins…ends up one of the highest grossing films of all time…”  

It is quite undeniable that this is merely a product of the Hollywood mechanism. If it is easier to sell an established idea, then it becomes the dominant force for making money. “…if you can make more  money than you could possibly imagine by doing a sequel to a film that was itself a reboot of an old film series after it was a Tv Show, how would that experience possibly persuade any studio chief that people want something new and different?...”  So, where does this insatiable compulsion for the remake stem from. Perhaps, as the various blogs and journalists have observed, Hollywood has truly run out of ideas and is using the sure fire box office success of its own back catalogue as a way to generate new revenue.

Notes On Druxman
It could be said that it is up the discretion of the director to acknowledge his film is a remake or not, however in the case of Druxman’s survey on movie remakes,1 he found the correlation of what was a remake became more and more diluted as he went along. An example of this would be the loose similarities of any two films set against totally different genres but at the same time sharing very similar characteristics when compared.

Notes on Eberwien:
Critics such as Robert Eberwien argued that any remake suggested a contested homage, by its director and cited other writers works such as Harvey Greenberg  that directors such as Spielberg had Oedipal inflections .  Eberwien also took into account that the remake is a re-reading of the original. As in so much as to say that the remake must consider that nostalgia of the period that the original film was made, is just as important when applying this to the remake .

Notes on Verevis:
As suggested by Constantine Verevis, who noted Tino Balios concerns on Hollywood source acquisition methods, he stated that (Hollywood) had huge offices dotted around the U.S. and Europe with the sole purpose of acquiring ideas cheaply. Verevis also noted Druxman’s observations on the fact that established literary works such as Jekyll and Hyde were easier to adapt into films, that books released into the public domain were by far cheaper and a vehicle to promote new technologies.

Section 2
Central Literature 
This section will now look at the more academic side of the literature review
Regarding   Dorsky, Barthes and other academic sources of research,
Certain remakes will be reviewed, particularly regarding the remakes of War of the Worlds and King Kong.
Notes on reviews of HG Wells The War of the Worlds
In order to understand certain remakes such as Spielberg’s remake of War of the Worlds , it was necessary to source information regarding how Hg Wells’s novel was interpreted and how this transposed to the big screen. Baxter interprets the meaning of  H.G Well’s novel about alien invasion in a compilation of essays titled:  Enduring Mythos of Mars (2005) – on p.183 he regards Wells position on  anti-colonialism: “…Wells tale derives authority from the contemporary paradigm of Mars as a failing  abode for life, and draws its power from allegory: Wells was pricking the complacency of the late Victorian English by giving them a taste of being on the receiving end of a hostile colonization…” a statement re-enforced by Silverberg introduction to The War of the Worlds: Fresh Perspectives (2005) in which Silverberg notes Wells contempt for the British establishment on page 7; even citing this extract from War of the Worlds novel:

            “…At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon mars ,
perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise.
            Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to the
            Beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this
Earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely drew their plans against us…”

On page eight, Silverberg notes that British Colonialism in 1897 represented “…the darker corners of the world… full of England’s valiant missionaries, carrying the message of the Gospels to the savage heathens of far-off lands; but who would have dared suggest that we ourselves might seem to others every bit as savage and ignorant as those “natives” did to the missionaries of Queen Victoria’s day…?”

In Hickman’s The films of George Pal (1977) he suggests that the 1953 version of War of the Worlds was updated from the novel in  order to reflect the cold war while on p158 of  Friedmans Citizen Spielberg,(2006) it is suggested that Spielberg’s remake was addressing ‘Post 911 issues…’ – in reviewing both films - the latter’s us vrs them mentality is strikingly similar to the 1953 version.

Notes on Dorsky and Nowness
Nathaniel Dorsky regards the need for nowness in his book Devotional Cinema, reflected by its importance as time or “…absolute time…the eternal now…”(p33) what Dorsky refers to as the moment or as R.E. Spiller put it, ‘a study of the pastness of the present and...of the presentness of the past’ 2 For, Dorsky, as film editor and observer, his nowness is in relationship to the long take: Dorsky as artist and editor shows us the privileged of nowness, to see the scene with minimal editing or cuts that would other wise cheat time.(p36) On the other hand, Dorsky as Observer appreciates the drawbacks of how nowness can overbear everything else, an observation he connects with mundane conversations, which, much like the Hollywood remake have their drawbacks. 
Of such mundainity Dorsky noted:

    “…Conversation can often be an exhausting exchange of self confirming, pre-digested concepts with no real exploration: everything is already ‘known’ and is motivated by a need to maintain the status quo of oneself in relation to the other person...Nowness is tainted by the need to accomplish something, to stay in control… ” (p34) 

Within the movie making business, Dorsky appreciates the problems of nowness in as much that its excessive temporality often leaves the observer “…shallow and used…” but as opposed to being in relation to pastiche and nostalgia Dorsky refers to the vertical and horizontalness of nowness. Where the horizontal is the overbearing continuity of nowness and the vertical is the absolute lack of it.  (Dorsky , p35) Ultimately what Dorsky is saying is that nowness is like too much salt in ones diet: We all need the sodium chloride in salt to maintain a balance within our bodies: it is an essential part of our existence, however too much salt if used in excess, can lead to health problems. Nowness is much the same, like salt, it has “…the potential to be balanced or imbalanced…”(p35)

Dorsky, N. Devotional Cinema (2005) Revised Second Edition Tuumba Press

Notes on Emilia Barna and nowness, pastiche and nostalgia .

Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool, Uk

These three elements are not only confined to the moving image but that of the popular music scene as well: Emilia Barna considered the nowness, pastiche and nostlagia of the 1960s against the popular culture surrounding the Beatles at the forefront of the media interest. In particular she cited other observers accounts in regard to nowness , such as Ian McDonald who applied ‘post Christian newness’ to the Beatles work, maintaining their song writing style was being “…governed by a present-time mentality…”. Barna presented the link between the media hype, the music of popular culture and the element of nowness, within her comments on McDonalds observations: “…this simultaneity and ‘nowness’, however, is only one side of the coin, as far as  either the Beatles or rock music in general is concerned...”. With regard to nostalgia, Barna reflected on popular culture as a means of escape for the general public, caught within the civil unrest of the cold war and growing hostilities between the United States and the USSR. Her observations of nostalgia  noted the depiction of cultural memory within certain Beatles songs such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. 

Barna hoped to prove the following argument that “…using the tools of the mass media, certain songs of the Beatles and the Kinks transmitted and reinforced, or a least commented on values that had become threatened or repressed by the emerging globalising effects of the mass media themselves…” and referred to “…the past and to locality within a strong and inherent connection and interaction between the two notions…”  Digging further into her argument, she regarded the pastiche of the Beatles in close regard to the music of their contemporaries, citing Andy Bennetts observations on the representations of ‘Britishness’ in popular music, such as the Kinks and the Small Faces ; “..The album ‘The Kinks Are the Village Green Presentation Society’ applies pastiche as a technique; Gelbart refers to this as a ‘Kaleidoscopic play of topoi’…” Which Barna later elaborates within her endnotes as
“…Topos in a literary analysis usually refers to a recurring motif or image – something common place…”

Notes on Mandiburg
Mandiburg highlights three elements, prevalent in remakes, particularly that of world cinema: fidelity, fertility and localization, in order to explain how the Hollywood  mechanism works in order to transpose the medium of films made by other countries.
Mandiburg argues that fidelity should be faithful to the original but this faithfulness is also inhibited by the aspect of fertility due to the inherent problems of pure translation from one language to another, thus the localization of language takes precedence.

This precedence, relates to the dominant language: Mandiburg  observes this as being “..inseparable  from the intersections of power, domination and translation methodology …” forcing the translator to take sides with the two modes of fidelity.
These two modes of fidelity regard interpreting a translation word for word or by adaptation of the words within the sense of the words, where by the purity is lost by one mode and the understanding is gained by the other. Mandiburg suggests that such an attempt for direct translation using the first mode, might result in confusion but by translating the meaning using the second mode at least gets the idea across to the recipient. Ultimately the idea of translation in any remake boils down to a case of interpretation, whether a movie is adapted from a novel, an older film or a motion picture made overseas. 

Notes on Rubio, Nostalgia and King Kong
Steven Rubio is a English Professor at the American River College USA, on regarding remakes, he noted in King Kong is back (Brin 2005) that nostalgia was an important part of the remake and used Dino De Laurentis 1976 version as an example.

He also cited Pauline Kael of New Yorker, on the birth of blockbusters, particularly Star Wars: “the excitement of those who call it the film of the year goes way past nostalgia to the feeling that now is the time to return to childhood…”  In An Open Letter to Universal and Dino De Laurentiis -  Mandell,P had similar reservations: On page 128 of this article featured in King Kong Cometh. 2005 and title Dino Kong, Mandell explores the 1976 version and its many predecessors such as the films made by Toho films.  In Paul A Woods compilation of King Kong remakes: King Kong Cometh,(2005)  dozens of Kong inspired films are reviewed, but particular interest is again focused on Dino De Laurentiis and his crazy idea of a 42 foot tall robot Kong, which cost 3 million dollars and like Spielberg’s robot shark in Jaws – it never really worked. On reflection for the 1933 version writer Ester M Friesner regarded Kong’s  Beauty and the Beast parallels in Give Beast a Chance on p159 of Habers: Kong Unbound (2005) and praise for Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake is abundant throughout the rest of these books.
____________
1Kael 234,230 as quoted by Steven Rubio (2005)  P 27 in Brin . D - King Kong is back
Benbella Books, Dallas,  Texas.

Notes on  Jim Hillier
In order to understand the Hollywood mechanism better, reference has been made to
Hollywood’s capitalism on movie remakes and its focus for profit based on the ‘no brainer’ attitude inherent in the studio system. In Jim Hillier’s book: The New Hollywood,(1992) this disdain is made apparent : He cites Amy Jones’s observations on the Hollywood mechanism as thus “…most people at the studios do not even pretend to know what movies work and go only on who is ‘hot’…”(p94)

Notes on Benjamin M Compaine and Douglas Gomery :
Who Owns the Media?
In their third edition published in 2000 Compaine and Gomery reviewed Monopoly’s and Oligopoly (p511 – 519) the umbrella of effect of corporate America and how this was reflected in Hollywood by various forms. These forms covered the competition between Betamax and VHS in the 1980’s  (p411-414) Spielberg and Dreamworks attempt to match the Big Six Hollywood studios p397, Star Wars Phantom Menace  ( p359,) and a scandal that involved the  Department of Justice (p425-426). Concerning George Lucas’s Phantom Menace film in 1999, its distributor 20th Century Fox became entangled by the Department of Justice, spurred by the films released to only selective cinemas willing to pay a minimum fee for showing it. By and large this practice is recognised as vertical integration Compaine and Gomery were interested in how the media shapes society : (p538) how The Big Six  came about (p368- 372)  how the MGM merger failed ( p370) and the Hollywood Oligopoly  (p380,  p422). Compaine and Gomery regarded the mechanisms of Hollywood in terms of tv network control:  the Vertical integration defined on p213 as : where prime time Tv productions are made by the Tv networks who are essentially owned by the Hollywood Studios or vice versa : CNN for example is owned by Time Warner, Rupert Murdoch is CEO of News Corporation which owns 20th Century Fox and so on. This is expanded on p548. The focus of this book was to find evidence of Lucas and Spielburg effected Hollywood and the remake. – The answer is  suggested on
p367 where Compaine and Gomery disclose Spielberg and Lucas had the top ten grossing rental films of all time, this fact is also highlighted on how Star Wars was in top ten video rentals on p 417, 418 Compaine and Gomery concluded on p 576 that the media “… is owned by thousands of large and small firms and organizations …” under the umbrella of  an Oligopoly.

Notes on Roland Barthes and consumerism
Barthes observed the rhetoric within the still and moving image.(p40) within this rhetoric, he observed the mechanisms of the press, cartoons and advertising, recognising the subtext of image as a form of connotation, where as stated : “…Anchorage  is the most frequent function of the linguistic message and is commonly found in press photographs and advertisements…” (p41) Barthes regarded this as a form of control: purporting that the more invariably clich├ęd the imagery of advertising worked then the more likely the consumer would adopt a submissive posture and comply to its demands. Barthes suggested that “…when the text has the diegetic value of relay the information is more costly , requiring as it does the learning of a digital code ( the system of language); when it has a substitute value (anchorage, control) , it is the image which detains the informational charge and, the image being analogical, the information is then ‘lazier’…” (Barthes, p41)

Notes on Cultural Memory
Roger Silverstone noted his fears regarding the dwindling of cultural memory within our society, in his book Why study the Media ?(1999) he maintained “…the past, like the present is fractured by division and difference..” and drew the parallel of the media sphere to late night Tv, blaming both these and Hollywood for drawing  “… its sting…” into the fragility of our recollection’s of past events. (Silverstone, Chapter 14 ‘memory’) Silversone was not alone in these fears as observed by Andreas Huyssen:  “…there is a deepening sense of crisis often articulated in the reproach that our culture is terminally ill with amnesia…”

Notes on Simulacra

In his short book titled Simulations(1983) Jean Baudrillard referred to simulation and simulacra and noted the four phases of repetition among symbols within society:  These phases were maintained from their  initial stages as a faithful image or copy represented in a “…reflection of a profound reality…”( Baudrillard, p 6). From this followed more copies that become a perversion of reality, unfaithful to the original, followed again by the imitation which attained to mask the absence of a profound reality by pretending to be a faithful representation of the source. By the fourth and final stage of this cycle, Baudrillard referred to simulacra in which any imitation has no bearing on reality that can be identified. Baudrillard argued that society’s reliance towards simulacra, has undermined its connections to the real world.

Methodology
The problem of repetition 

In this section we will integrate the research material into addressing the problem of
remakes as a semiotic analysis, by understanding how nowness, pastiche and nostalgia are suppose to work . This will regard the brief history of older films adapted from novels such as Mary Shelleys Frankenstein and the effect this has had on the remake, sequel and adaptation, from the Golem in 1920, to The Thing from Another World in 1951. With the literature review underway, it was necessary to review as many films using a semiotic approach in understanding, this led back to the original hypothesis regarding Hollywood remakes and their relationship to nowness, pastiche and Nostalgia.

DEFINITIONS:
Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia
So what is ‘nowness’ and how does this apply to the film remake. From the research based on Dorsky into films and the reviews of the Beatles music by Emilia Barna, nowness in a semiotic or as a  general term,  is of the moment. However in the Hollywood sense it is has become the absolute, the bottom line in cool, the ‘pizzaz’ spark integral to the marketing stratagem of the Hollywood mechanism. It is the latest fashion, the need for updating, the latest craze, the reason to warrant Yellow Submarine in CGI because nowness will undoubtedly make it better, in the eyes of Hollywood at least. The term refers to a multitude of media orientated objectives that supposedly would secure a films box office success: 
In effect it has become a syndrome, a condition that has left filmmakers and critics perplexed. Think about nostalgia and then think about James Whales 1931 version of  Frankenstein, (1931).Since Mary Shelly’s publication of this Modern Prometheus in January 1818,  there have been countless versions of  her story,  via stage plays, alternative children’s books and in particular: Film.  Boris Karlof as the Golem like creature in James Whales version: A portrayal both sympathetic and terrifying at the same time, Jack Pierce, responsible for Karloff’s  make up created the iconic monster look for the next 20 years, even morphing into other movies such as the original Thing from another world. ( 1956)

Like the ripple effect caused by Lucas and Spielberg, the Karlof monster ‘look’ crossed all boundaries, from The Thing to the robot Gort in Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) a film we shall look at later. Nearly every other monster movie had a lumbering Karloff flat top description, right up until the British film industry created Hammer Horror and took the idea in an entirely different direction. None the less, after countless remakes, James Whales version (along with its sequels) are over 78 years old and are still by far the best adaptations and the most memorable to date. So there must be something in the idea of nostalgia that allows such an icon as Whales Frankenstein monster to be preserved, in terms of the remake, sequel and series. It was perhaps this iconic look that Hollywood saw an as Goose laying golden eggs: Universal Studios apparently could not resist the idea of the remake or ‘sequels’ such as Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman vs. Dracula vs. and so on. By the time all the Universal monsters had teamed up against Abbott and Costello, the lines between sequel and remake had become blurred beyond identity, neither acknowledging any sort of relation to the original nor maintaining any distance from it.

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

 “…In the remake envisioned by your humble correspondent, Klaatu, starring Yours Truly, would land in Hollywood and threaten to have Gort destroy all the studios unless the producers quit making lousy movie remakes with leftwing themes…”
(P.J. Gladnick,)

Posters from the 2008 remake (left) and the 1951 original (Right)
Robert Wises production of  ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ (1951) reflected  a world at the height of its nuclear capability, brought to its knees by one Alien ambassador and his faithful robot Gort: a kind of  indestructible robot policeman. In Scott Derrickson’s 2008 remake expectations were deflated by Keanu Reeves lack of acting and an equally unconvincing CGI Gort, which was rarely seen, almost as if the nostalgic Frankensteiness of Gort was not ‘now’ enough for today’s audiences.


Findings

Remakes are the least path of resistance.
Nowness pastiche and nostalgia refer to one aspect of the problems regarding remakes the other problems being that the Hollywood attitude towards profit is to go  on the least path of resistance, which the remake, like the sequel  offers in abundance.
This section will elaborate on the success of  Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975) and review George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s effect on Hollywood trends.


Robert Bookbinders book The Films of the Seventies (1982) noted certain accusations made against George Lucas with regard to copy write infringement by using ideas from old Flash Gordon serials of the 1930’s –a nostalgia in itself. Bookbinder supports the theory that the blockbuster format can be attributed to the success of Jaws and the popularity of Star Wars, the latter of which ironically was made because Lucas could not afford the rights to remake the Flash Gordon Series of the 1930’s.
 In 1977, the idea of the lucrative remake was still in its infancy  but the success of Lucas and Spielberg across the globe effected almost every film makers approach to western film making , even on a sub conscious level. If it wasn’t for the success of films such as Planet of the Apes, 20th Century fox would not have considered  putting a film such as Star Wars into production.

This ethos returns back to writer Jim Hillier’s stand on the Hollywood mechanism of going with what ever is ‘hot’. (Hillier p94) Another example of this can be found at great length throughout Benjamin M Compaine and Douglas Gomery’s research into media monopoly: Their research covered all aspects of media manipulation up until the year 2000 in the book Who Owns the Media.  They noted that the current state of affaires within Hollywood around this time suggested a heavy trend towards  a stock market mentality. 20th Century Fox for example, was owned by the News paper consortium represented by Rupert Murdoch of The News Corporation Ltd, and in 1997 Murdoch collected the bets on Cameron’s Titanic(1997) after it  became a huge hit - this was the result of  a  cooperative venture between 20th Century Fox and Paramount.  This brief partnership is merely part of the Big Six Oligopoly that ultimately work in friendly contest with each other, so long as a common profit margin is resolved. Consisting of innumerate auxiliary’s and other franchises, Time Warner, like 20th Century Fox is another big player: It owns CNN. The Big Six are generally recognised as Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Sony, Universal and Disney. As Compaine and Gomery have observed, these major players have fluctuated in size over the 20th Century: At one point there was the Big Three: RKO, Warner, Disney, Then RKO, Warner, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Disney became the Big Five: In order to survive, the minor companies such as Universal, Columbia and United Artists, merged with the rest and became the Big Eight, while still competing for maximum profit. The advent of Television put MGM essentially out of business, despite merging with United Artists thus this general morphing and merging of companies is continuous and forever expanding, in order that the Hollywood Oligopoly remains intact. (Compaine, Gomery, 2000) This Oligopoly maintains the status quo, where not just one monopoly retains the profit margin but where all the major companies utilize their subsidiaries to   combat, merge, dissolve, re-emerge and so on to essentially remain in power. (Compaine, Gomery, 2000) When reviewing Compaine and Gomery’s Stats Tables for the‘All-Time Top 25 Films at the U.S. Box Offices’ on page 367, it is interesting to note that at least 10 of them were, either directed or produced by Steven Spielberg or George Lucas.

With the same token Compaine and Gomery also suggest, that in effect, movie rentals alone succeeded in vast amounts of profit, in the case of Lucas’s original Star Wars Trilogy and subsequent prequels: “…Star Wars stood in 1999 as a multibillion dollar property, fully amortised with billions more expected in the future from re-releases…”.  p367 
However, if it wasn’t for the fact Lucas insured the rights to the merchandising of his films, he would most likely have not received a penny of royalties from 20th Century Fox - a detail highlighted by Compaine and Gomery which raises concern for corporate scruples: 
“…With all the monies generated from a film over the course of its life, the true cost of a film is rarely known….the Big Six were skilled at making sure that they paid out as little as possible...”   
Concerning George Lucas’s Phantom Menace film in 1999, its distributor 20th Century Fox became entangled by the Department of Justice, spurred by the films released to only selective cinemas willing to pay a minimum fee for showing it. By and large this practice is recognised as vertical integration, a term Compaine and Gomery used to describe the monopoly employed by the merger of Cineplex and Loew’s Inc, a parent company of what was formally known as MGM. 
This monopoly is essentially a corporate strangle hold on independent cinema in general, putting smaller businesses out of business. With the advent of video tape in the 1980’s  and the repeatability of the video rental format, Hollywood discovered that repetition of ideas never seemed more lucrative in terms of re-releasing well known films to video and accruing the profits from the rental stores in order to further perpetuate the Hollywood Oligopoly for the Big Six studios. 
Time Warner alone had many fingers in many pies: Warner Bros. wanted to match Disney’s success with its $45 Million profits from product placing Toy Story (1995) with Burger King food outlets in 1995. (Compaine, Gomery, 2000) Warner Brothers sealed many lucrative deals by utilizing their back catalogue and tapping into Looney Tunes cartoons merchandizing, much like Lucas had achieved with the success of Star Wars toys. Owners of Warner Brothers, Time Warner proceeded to exploit product placement, repeatedly using the AOL logo within such remakes as You’ve Got Mail,(1998) starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, a re-working of a film called The Shop Around the Corner (1949). 
According to Compaine and Gomery, Star Wars was the top number one rented video in 1996, simply because it was so accessible to children; who by and large “drive the market” for the Big Six, aware of the parental issues. In the 1990’s The Big Six took full advantage of the situation that affords bringing up a child, something that Compaine and Gomery observed as the sell through market, where by sequels to films go straight to video and are then seen repeatedly. The upshot of which is the idea that the parents, keep the kids busy with films they know they will watch on a repeated basis, keeping them occupied, while freeing up the parents to do other things.


Evaluation

In Light of Compaine and Gomery’s research in 2000, this suggests that Hollywood had already completely shifted focus as a film making business, as opposed to crafting films for entertainment trends tended towards making products for the consumer.
Another area of interest which Compaine and Gomery noted, was the statistical fickleness  of consumers, who usually have no idea what films they wished to rent and thus the simple poster or large cardboard advertisement was enough to sway them.
This rational is also supported within the semiotic field, by theorists such as Roland Barthes who regarded advertisements as a means of anchoring the consumer to a certain pattern. Barthes outlines this in his book Image Music Text ,(1977).  Between consumer and product, this in effect relates to Compaine and Gomery’s whole argument: That a simple poster in a Blockbusters store, beholding all the blockbuster traits of nowness, indicated another example of Hollywoods path of least resistance. If the outlet for profit is made cheaper, the huge cinematic add campaign soon falls short of equalling this distribution tactic. According to online sources : The video industry's 1998 shift toward revenue sharing with film studios, allowing video stores to stock more titles at lower up-front costs, helped lift industry-wide revenues out of their mid-1990s doldrums. According to widely cited figures from Paul Kagan Associates, rental revenue in 1998 totalled $8 billion and sell-through sales reached $9 billion, bringing industry revenues to $17 billion for the year. Though estimates vary, this translated into somewhere between three and four billion videos rented and some 676 million sold.*
* http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/industries/Service/Videotape-Rental.html


 It would perhaps be fair to say that this practice has now passed onto
the Dvd market with even more success than the VHS format could possibly afford to offer. Ultimately what Benjamin M Compaine and Douglas Gomery concluded was that, in terms of  who ownes the media’ was ultimately an ever changing state of play, that their overwhelming compilation of facts was at best a snap shot within “… a continually changing landscape..”

Discussion

We shall now discuss the effect the Hollywood remake has had on cultural memory, by regarding the effect of Spielberg’s War of the Worlds(2005) remake and Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) and their relationship to Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia.

The War Of The Worlds
Where a return to the source material has never been so imperative

 “...War of the Worlds in its day was as exciting as Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Star Wars today…”   (Adamson, 1984)  Byron Haskin, director of the 1953 movie version. Looking back at the period of 1897 when HG Wells first published The War of the Worlds in magazine form, contemporary writers such as Silverberg, and Baxter commended Wells on unlocking the doors of science fiction and turning British colonialism on its head. Baxter in particular remarks that; “…Wells tale derives authority from the contemporary paradigm of Mars as a failing  abode for life, and draws its power from allegory: Wells was pricking the complacency of the late Victorian English by giving them a taste of being on the receiving end of a hostile colonization…” In this respect any attempt today to acknowledge this in a film would also have been quite interesting.  Other contemporary writers such as Pamela Sargent reflected on the films that have attempted to adapt H G Wells novel: 
“…There’s an unfortunate tendency of some people, many of them in the entertainment industry, many of them Americans, to believe that one must “identify” with the central characters in a story especially in a movie, and that transplanting a story from its original time and place to contemporary times will make it far more appealing to a mass audience as well as save money on set design and costumes…” (Sargent,2005)

 When regarding Spielberg’s remake of The War of the Worlds, one must first acknowledge that A: It is a remake and B: There have been numerous adaptations of HG Wells 1898 novel. These adaptations range from other books such as Sherlock Holmes vrs the Martians, Orsen Welles 1938 radio play, George Pals 1953 movie, various Tv serial incarnations, graphic novels and so on. In Britain, perhaps the most memorable of theses incarnations was the Jeff Wayne musical version,(1977) In terms of the most recent, let us address the version directed by Steven Spielberg by comparing it to the success of the 1953 version against the original novel. Produced by George Pal and directed by Byron Haskin, the 1953 version received the academy award for best special effects and secured Pal and Haskins reputations in Hollywood as successful entrepreneurs of filmmaking. 
It is interesting to note that shortly before his death on 16th April 1984, (Adamson, 1984) Byron Haskin reflected on the success of his original by comparing it to the blockbuster Hits of the 1970’s, particularly Lucas and Spielberg. In an interview for the Directors Guild of America Oral History, Haskin put it like this: “…now you can’t tell me that a picture which has in it, credibly,  the destruction of Los Angeles, along with the rest of the world, by invasion from outer space, etc., could not have been hyped into something as big as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars. It was that important in its day. There was nothing in competition with it at the time it was made, and it did have a terrific impact in the theatres where it was run…It had great audience identification. That’s the one thing that made it big, that this could be happening to people in the audience” (Adamson, 1984) 

According to Haskins interview, Paramount pictures did little to publicize the original film, unsure where it would lay in the marketing strategy of things, where as Joe Adamson, (Haskins interviewer) pointed out, 20th Century Fox publicized Star Wars nearly a year before the film reached the theatres. (Adamson, 1984)   In review of the 1953 version and Spielberg’s remake, the latter appears to pay homage to the former, both in style and content and wavers very little from this in terms of its contemporary settings, there is also very little reference to the book itself. The lack of reference to the novel by Spielberg could reflect a need for nostalgia for George Pal but on the other hand it could also be construed as merely further evidence of the cashing in, on the success of  the original movie using formulaic stratagem. In the case of the 1953 version, HG Wells novel was updated for contemporary audiences, a decision Haskin made in early production of his version  (Adamson, 1984)  and merely copied by Spielberg for his remake as prescribed subterfuge. The need to update the book in the 1953 version, worked around three arguments; Primarily, being that by the 1950’s HG Wells was an old man and regarded his book was out of date with the times, secondly, many attempts to get the film off the ground had failed and thirdly by 1953, the story was now very relevant to the cold war. (Adamson, 1984)  

Above all else, Orson Welles had proved in his 1938 radio play, that the story, could be updated to contemporary times, so much so that when it was broadcast, “…everybody ran for the hills…”(Adamson, 1984) Another interesting point of fact about the 1953 version was that the whole of the third act was to be shot in 3-D. (Adamson, 1984) As observed in Gail Morgan Hickman’s book, The films of George Pal, Hickman elaborated on Pal’s enthusiasm for this technique which was vetoed by the studio. (Hickman,p68) It is unfortunate that this process was not employed, for Hickman believed it would have made the films climax ‘even more visually stunning’ (Adamson, 1984)  and in that respect perhaps today’s 3-D would not rely so heavily  upon films such as James Cameron’s Avatar (2010) in order to wow us today. 
However concerning the story’s origins were completely ignored in Spielberg’s remake, it is surprising that he did not employ 3-D as means if any, to justify his remake. With this in mind, perhaps the truest version that retained a similar impact to George Pals version whilst retaining a straight adaptation of the novel was the musical version by Jeff Wayne. Released in 1977,  Jeff Wayne’s musical version of War of the Worlds was an instant hit, sticking closely to the original story and settings of the 1900’s, while updating the narrative using progressive rock and orchestral themes. Writing most of the score himself, Wayne turned Wells’s novel into an orchestral rock extravaganza which featured the narrative voices of David Essex, Julie Covington, Phil Lynott and Richard Burton. 
In the 1970’s, to adapt old themes or political issues to a musical adaptation was a popular business: Jesus Christ Superstar,The Phantom of the Opera or Hair, all followed these trends. It is perhaps in light of Jeff Wayne’s musical version of War of the Worlds that it was now feasible to adapt HG Wells appropriately. The popularity of several lavish British period dramas such as Jack the Ripper (1988) with Michael Cain, served as ample example that a return to Wells original period setting was indeed feasible. Coupled with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, also adapted very closely to JRR Tolkien’s  books and not to mention Jackson’s return to the original 1933 King Kong, we see a pattern in the remake to return as faithfully as possible to the source. Yet as much as this yearning for faithful representations of source material begins to become popular, the expectations for a direct film adaptation of Hg Wells The War of the Worlds would be among that literary line of thought. However, after seeing Spielberg’s version, one has to wonder at what point was a direct adaptation of the book even considered and rejected. In line with the amount of remakes now being churned out by Hollywood, even The War of the Worlds has unfortunately had to pay reliance on homage to Pal’s 1953 version and it is perhaps this nostalgia, that Hollywood uses as an obstacle that a  director must somehow over come. However, despite the opportunity here for Spielberg’s remake to retain the themes and settings of the original novel, these were completely overlooked and Wells original message of anti-colonialism (Baxter, Silverburg, 2005)were merely replaced by Tom Cruise’s Americanisms and Spielberg’s post-911’ isms. (Friedman,  2006) However, Spielberg maintained his version went back to the isolation of the main protagonist featured in the book but in reality what is seen on screen is essentially the 50’s version with all the interesting elements removed in favour of CGI nowness. 
This observation is inadvertently supported by the appraisals of Warren Buckland’s examination into the filmmaking practices by Spielberg, maintaining the director’s talent for cinematic showmanship but also ignores the directors remake tactics. (Buckland, 2006) In as much, that although Buckland acknowledges the certain inconsistencies in the film, such as the burning question of why did those Martians bury their tripods for thousands of years,   (p.220)   
He negates to explore this query by passing it off as mere plot device. Indeed it is fair to say that, there is little build up beyond establishing Tom Cruise’s character and perhaps Spielberg wished to by pass the laborious building of Tripods  in favour of CGI nowness in order to get straight to the point of his ‘post-911 isms’. (Friedman, p158) Such isms have surrounded this story from the beginning of its inception. The disdain for colonialism is the backbone of the original 1898 book, which, as the years went by, morphed into the ever changing trends of hostilities across the planet: Freidman observed this as a trend throughout the course of the 20th century, the narrative structure of War of the Worlds reflected Nazism, Communism and eventual Terrorism. 

This trend is mirrored by Orson Welles radio play reflecting Americas fear of Nazism, George Pals 1953 film reflected Americas fear of Communism and so it would seem to follow that Spielberg was attempting to follow this trend in post 911.However to follow this line of thought along this line of isms, as  Freidman observed, only served to show Spielberg’s personal desire to reflect his remake as a post 911 film but  ignored the fact that Terrorism was very different from Communism in that : “the geopolitical map is vastly different than in 1898,1938, or 1953. Most Americans don’t fear an attack by a highly mechanized force commanded by a ruthless dictator…”(Friedman,p158) Friedman also observed that the U.S. is ultimately the major super power on the planet, with little to rival it, other than the unpredictable and individual acts of terrorism, whose blame ultimately rested in the hands of the American Government itself.  (Joseph, etal 2007) Friedman appreciated the complexities of Spielberg’s remake, in as much that, viewed as a post 911 film, it is interesting to see what it must have been like from the Iraqis point of view. However in retrospect, particularly here in England, many cinema goers perhaps felt a little disconcerted by the prospect of seeing what is predominantly a classic English novel turned into more of Americas problems. At least in the 1950’s version, we have a sense of the world, a point that is made clear in Byron Haskins argument about updating the book as merely to attune it with the period of history that Haskin was enveloped in: “…in lieu of what happened afterwards, the success of the nostalgic period in ‘Around the World in 80 days’, - War of the Worlds might have had an impact leaving it in the 1890’s of H.G.Wells version…  For Haskin, the decision to update the story solved a multitude of problems in pre-production, as it certainly had for Orson Welles radio version. (Adamson, 1984)  Haskin had read Orson Welles transcript for his radio play of War of the Worlds and noted how well the young Mercury theatre presenter had mixed realism with fiction but ultimately what Haskin had in mind was a contemporary story reflecting the atomic age. “…at the time we were preparing it…” noted Haskin, “… we had to consider the atomic bomb and the impact of that technology in the world…”(Adamson, 1984)  In this  respect it is understandable why updating the story was a necessity to perhaps escape the domestication of Wells writing style, Haskin also talks about the avoidance of such problems of adapting the books “…English vicars and old British Gardeners…an antiquated machine…frightening a cast directly out of  Agatha Christie…”. (Adamson, 1984) However in Jeff Wayne’s musical version, the opinion was quite the opposite and Wayne’s nostalgia for retaining the Agatha Christie-ness of the original book is made obvious when looking thru the colourful 1900’s style artwork that accompanied this vinyl double album on its original release. In this respect, we shall now see how a remake, can work if the elements  of  Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia  are in balance…


King Kong:
2nd Time Right ?

The King Kong film of 1933 has become almost a sort of legacy in terms of re-making: a sequel to this original called Son of Kong, (1933) was  also remake of a much  older, lost film called The Enchanted Island, (Peary, p96). Of the many versions of this film, we will regard in particular the 1976 remake by Dino De Laurentiis against the more successful remake by Peter Jackson in 2005.

In review of this and regarding the films it talked about, specific interest centred around the two major remakes that followed the 1933 original: That of Jackson’s aforementioned remake and that of the Dino De Laurentiis remake of 1976.
We shall now look at some excerpts: Indeed some critics in the Woods document noted the public hysteria and the many anxieties surrounding producer Dino De Laurentiis 1976 remake of the 1933 version of King Kong. Particularly since De Laurentiis had insisted on moving away from the nostalgic and practical applications of stop motion photography in favour of insisting that Paramount Pictures build him a colossal robot. (Glut, 2005) Costing nearly three million dollars and standing nearly 42 feet in height, this mechanical wonder however, despite having over 70 hydraulic levers in order to operate its arms and legs, never really worked. (Glut, 2005) 
The idea of a mechanized monster is not too dissimilar to Spielberg’s approach in his film Jaws (1975) where the mechanical shark required days of maintenance and despite mans best efforts, also never really worked. As a fail safe renowned make up artist Rick Baker ended up donning the monkey suite but because of the huge publicity spun by De Laurentiis and his giant robot, Baker received little recognition for saving the films main character.   (Glut, 2005) 
It was only under pressure from the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that De Laurentiis finally admitted that Baker had in fact played Kong as opposed to the robot and Baker received an Academy Award for his troubles.  (Glut, 2005) 
The controversy over the ridiculous tribulations of Hollywood publicity surrounding the King Kong remake of 1976 is probably worthy of making into a film within itself, for who would imagine Spielberg’s robot shark being out-matched by a robot Kong. The god like superiority that Dino De Laurentiis wielded during its production did not end there and subsequently he tried to sue other Kong remakes in production around the same time, despite the story had fallen into the public domain. (Glut, 2005) 
Indeed there seemed to be little left of the original Kong once Dino De Laurentiis had finished his remake, all expectations of for a stop frame animation extravaganza were dashed in favour of a guy in a monkey suite. In Karen Haber’s book Kong Unbound (2005) 
Writer Ray Bradbury, a long time fan of the original had this to say about it: “…When Dino De Laurentii’s man in the ape suit appeared, my rage could not be concealed. Instead of a virgin beauty , they depicted an unclad lady of the night with not a single virtue as cover-up. I dubbed it “The Turkey That Attacked New York…”.  (Haber, 2005) Around the time of Peter Jackson’s version being released, Steven Rubio an English Professor at American River College USA noted Pauline Kael’s review on the 1976 version emphasising her thoughts on remakes had to be different from the original because “we know what’s coming...” (Rubio, 2005) 
With Rubio’s particular observations on Kong, this investigation was aided by his belief in nostalgia as being an important component that enabled a remake to work. In light of Rubio, the possible failure of why Hollywood is  unable to present remakes in a way that pleases audiences points more towards the imbalance of nowness as opposed to nostalgia. Rubio observed the 1976 version of King Kong, was not what the fans of the original were looking for and in his opinion, audiences wanted a faithful reproduction of the original, updated but nostalgic. (Rubio, 2005) 
With the documents at hand, the evidence pointing towards Peter Jackson’s 2005 version suggests a balance within the elements of Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia. In this respect it is perhaps worth looking at extracts from the book Kong Unbound (Haber, 2005)
To give us some insight into how Kong has remained an appealing and yet difficult film to remake successfully. This book was compiled and edited by Karen Haber. It is noted in this book that George Lucas advocate Alan Dean Forster remembers the utter selfish motivations of the original films characters such as the movie director Carl Denham “...forever placing his own men in danger in the hopes of satisfying his own egotistical needs…” 
This is a strong character trait that features in all three official movie versions of King Long. In another chapter, Ester M Friesner’s view on the original Kong is more casual and perhaps the most comical to relate to and stated“…Gentlemen and giant prehistoric apes prefer blonds…” she  also pointed  out  that the origins of the film owe heavily to the influence of the  Beauty and the Beast story and this idea works on many parallels: In one particular aspect the original films relationship between Kong and Fay Wray’s character remains unwavered, the beauty and the Beast love aspect remains solid throughout the film, Friesner’s outlook reminds us that this is a love story.  Later on in the book however Pat Cadigan’s interpretation of the film is more along the lines of Sigmund Freud, regarding beauty and the Beast love aspect of the film is more in tune with pubescent first dates by young school girls:

“… The first ever date makes you the golden woman in unknown and dangerous territory, about to come face to face with something so big that nothing will ever be the same afterwards…” (Haber, 2005) using the ‘ monster from the id’ to paraphrase her interpretation, she utilises these ideas to present the fantasy rape connotations, where as Friesner argues that Kong’s relationship with ‘beauty’ has more to do with that fact she smells of soap and not food.


Conclusions

From the observations within this critique, so far we have learned that the remake, like the sequel or series has that lucrative dollar incentive attached to it, the idea of the remake is a no brainer: The Audience generally knows already what is about to happen. Hollywood may have distributed Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975) but its film makers where very much of the independent sector and as soon as the block buster was recognised as a viable option, Hollywood trends attempted to remake this success by formula only. During this investigation it was also recognised that three distinct elements constituted the success and failure of remakes: Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia: Nowness represents the updating of the remake, Pastiche represents the re-imagined remake and Nostalgia representing the need and appeal of the remake.
We have learned that Hollywood will follow the paths of least resistance, copying film directors such as Spielberg or Lucas’s blockbuster patterns within the framework of the remake. In this respect Nowness is a subtle tool to be aware of , like a errant child it must be tamed into submission in order to make way for nostalgia, the success of Star Wars and Jaws gave birth to the block buster but this very concept is plagued with nowness. However we have also learned from the relationship of Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005) and Dino De Laurentiis remake in 1976 that if nowness is tempered correctly within a structure, it can be weighed against the elements of pastiche and nostalgia and work as a remake. Ultimately Jackson’s King Kong shows how these three elements can maintain balance.

Recommendations
In recognising Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia within the remake, the research here suggested further investigations should be carried out, particularly in the field of semiotics in relation to explaining the mechanism of remakes to the laymen. Drawing upon the notes laid down in this paper, a semiotic model was constructed representing the three elements in balance as thus :


With regard to this model, further examination would be recommended, in terms of its use as a learning tool for film students and perhaps applied to other fields such as music theory. 
Word Count:  9850 words

Bibliography

Film References
Day the Earth Stood still (Robert Wise,1951, USA)
Based on the novel ‘Farewell to the Master’
Day the Earth Stood still (Scott Derrickson, 2008, USA)

Dawn Of  The Dead (George A Romero, 1978, USA)
Dawn Of  The Dead (Zack Snyder , 2004, USA)
Shaun Of the Dead (Edgar Wright ,2004, USA)

The Fly (Kurt Neumann 1958, USA)
The Fly (David Cronenberg 1986, USA)
The Fly (David Cronenberg  -pending,USA)

The Fog (John Carpenter, 1980 USA)
The Fog (Rupert Wainwright, 2005 USA)

Frankenstein ( James Whale 1931, USA)

The Golem (Paul Wegener, Carl Boese 1920 USA)

House Of Frankenstein (Erle C. Kenton 1944, USA)

Invasion Of  The Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956, USA )
Invasion Of  The Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978, USA)
Body Snatchers (Abel Ferrara, 1993,USA)
Invasion Of  The Pod People (Justin Jones, 2007, USA)
The Invasion (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2007, USA)

Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975, USA)

King Kong (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack 1933 USA)
King Kong (Dino De Laurentiss, 1976 USA)
King Kong (Peter Jackson, 2005 USA)

Planet Of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968, USA)
Planet Of the Apes (Tim Burton, 2001, USA)

Rollerball  ( Norman Jewison , 1975 USA)
Rollerball (John McTiernan, 2002, USA)

Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977, USA)
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (George Lucas, 1999, USA)

The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975, USA)
The Stepford Wives (Frank Oz, 2004, USA)

The Thing from Another World (Hawkes H, Nyby, C 1951 USA)
The Thing (Carpenter, J, 1982 USA)

The War of the Worlds ( Byron Haskin, George Pal,1953, USA)
War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg, 2005, USA)

Zietgiest, (Peter Joseph, 2007, USA)


Book References
Barthes, R :  Image, Music, Text, (1977) Fontana Press
Anchorage, P41, Rhetoric of the Image

Benchley, P (1974) Jaws

Black, J (2001) The Politics of James Bond . Praeger

Bookbinder, R (1982) The Films of the Seventies. Citadel Press

Baudrillard, J (1983) Simulations, P. 11-12 NY Simiotexte

Compaine B.M., Gomery D. Who Owns the Media? [3rd edition]
(2000) Lawrence Earlbaum Associates, Inc Publishers Mahwah, New Jersey

Corrigan, T (1992) A Cinema without walls; Movies and Culture after Vietnam.
London: Routledge

Druxman, M (1975) Make It Again, Sam. London: Thomas Yoseloff Ltd

Dorsky, N. Devotional Cinema (2005) Revised Second Edition Tuumba Press
Eberwien, R, (1998) Remakes and Cultural Studies in Horton and McDougal’s Play it Again Sam, University of California Press, Chapter One p-15-19.

Forrest, J, Koos, L (2002) Dead Ringers. State University of New York Press, Albany

Greenburg, H,R, (1998) Raiders of the Lost Text: Remaking as Contested Homage in ‘Always’ Studies in Horton and McDougal’s Play it Again Sam, University of California Press, Chapter Seven p.115-17.

Hawkins, H, (1990) Classics and Trash. Hertfordshire: Harvester Wheatsheaf

Hillier, J (1992) The New Hollywood. London: Studio Vista

Horton, A, McDougal, S (1998) Play it Again, Sam. University of California Press


Huyssen, A (1995). Twilight Memories. Marking Time in the Culture of Amnesia. New York and London: Routledge,.
James, O,(2008) The Selfish Capitalist, Page 120,121, Vermilion,London

Neale, S (2002) Genre and Contemporary Hollywood .  London: BFI
Neale, S, Smith, M (1998) Contemporary Hollywood Cinema. London: Routledge
MacCann, R (1964) Film and Society. Scribner Research Anthologies

McDonald, M. in Screen 47:3 Autumn 2006, Performing memory in Television: documentary and the 1960’s  Oxford University Press
Reeves,N (1999) The Power of Propergander. Cassell

Silverstone, R (1999) Why Study the Media? London: Sage
Wells HG, The War of the Worlds (1898) Penguin Books
Williams, R. (1996) ‘Mass Communication and Minority Culture’, in P. Marris and S.
Williams, R. (1971) Communications. Pelican Books
Yeffeth, G (2006) James Bond in the 21st Century. Benbella

Internet References:
Who Goes There? is a science fiction novella by John W. Campbell, Jr. under the pen name Don A. Stuart
Retrieved 14:47 -26/02/10

AMERICAN IN ENGLAND

a study of the pastness of the present and...of the presentness of the past

By R. E. SPILLER

P.J. Gladnick
December 13, 2008 - 09:00 ET

Actor, Matthew Broderick,
Retrieved 24-10-09 21:37pm

Stepford Wives Creepily Perfect quote
Retrieved 24-10-09 9pm 

John Huston Quoate
ThisDistracted Globe.com
Image:
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:28



On line Journal and PDF References

Verevis,C (2004) Film Studies, Issue 4, Pages 87-103, www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/uploads/docs/040087.pdf

Jeffrey Blair Latta, by Steven Rubio (2005)  P 30 in  King Kong is back
Benbella Books, Dallas,  Texas.

Not the Movie : King Kong'76 by Steven Rubio2005  in "King Kong is back!" Edited by David Brin with Leah Wilson. 2005 Benbella Books

Barna, E . (2010) ‘There are places I’ll remember…’:A sense of past and locality in the Songs of the Beatles and the Kinks’, in Hassan and Tessler (ed) Sounds of the Overground: Selected papers from a postgraduate colloquium on ubiquitous music in everyday life. Turku, Finland: International Institute for Popular Culture 2120
(available as an e-book at http://iipc.utu.fi/publications.html
P.J. Gladnick, December 13, 2008 - 09:00 ET

IMAGES USED

Roller ball Poster (2007)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:28

Roller ball Poster (1975)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:44

Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:19




Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:20

Star Wars Poster (1977)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:22

Jaws Poster (1975)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:22

King Kong Image (1933)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:27


King Kong Poster (1976)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:28

King Kong Poster (2005)
Retrieved 31/3/10 -14:28


Appendices A
The following documents cover an initial inquiry into whether the model had any application to film theory, by means of a questionnaire that included some  explanatory notes on the models function. This questionnaire was then e-mailed to a cross section of laymen/ film student/ film theorists in order to get a general idea of the models potential as a learning aid.


By Jayson Scott Adams
Please answer the questions on Page 4 - in relation to the following:
Why did Spielberg turn War or the Worlds (2005) into a post 911 film? What is the point of re-making Yellow Submarine in CGI? Why do Hollywood remakes suck? As writers such as Druxman observed way back in 1975, remakes are the no brainer for Hollywood. With the subsequent influx of general Hollywood sequels in the 80's, 90's and 00's; it is apparent how remakes have now become the new sequel, with too much emphasis on Nowness (Dorsky 2005), which in my mind is very much a 1980’s invention much like Yuppies, shoulder pads and Simon Cowell.

During my research I realised that a successful remake had to have a balance for it to work, such as Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong, which had a lot of expectations to live up to considering the 1976 version was such a huge disappointment to fans of the original 1933 film (Rubio, 2005). I saw a balance utilising the semiotic theory (Barthes, et al.) of reading signs and interpretation of films to ascertain what made a remake work.
Due to my dyslexia, I found the semiotic theory explaining the remake became too bogged down in abstractions. However I saw that a simplified abstraction might illustrate how remakes function, based on the principles of Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia – such as the illustration above based on a triple scale theory…
What is Nowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia ?
In terms of the re-make :
Nowness = the moment, the update, the latest fashion (eg: pointless CGI scenes). Nowness in the remake should respect the original, update the idea appropriately using the latest technologies in a manor that does not distract from the narrative. To assume that an original films failing was its shoddy special effects is to ignore the films strengths, such as a strong idea or theme. To ignore the originals strengths is disastrous for the remake.
Pastiche = the interpretation, (such as Shaun of the Dead’s take on Romero’s work). Pastiche in the remake is the signifier telling the viewer that this is the interpretation; it should maintain the remakes authenticity to its source material (the book or movie etc) and reflect the original meaning of the author’s ideas.
Nostalgia = cultural memory, (McDonald, 2006) i.e. remembering the original, something Spielberg does a lot (Greenburg, 1998). Above all Nostalgia reflects the want for the remake based on the source material. It is the drive for making the film work because it refers to the communal buzz that the original movie offered, it is where Nowness ends (the moment the film becomes dated) and the original films fondness and impact  (nostalgia) takes precedence in our memories.(McDonald, 2006).
This is why Hollywood remakes often fail, because too much assumption is made on what sells, rather than what is actually any good…
The model below shows how the remake becomes swamped in marketing strategy - ultimately the remake becomes a vehicle for product placement and the film sucks as a result. 

In terms of this model, Nowness outweighs the other two elements: there is too much emphasis on trying to update the story by using the latest trends in technology, turning the film into a sellable product (Eberwien, 1998) as opposed to even considering if the remake was a wise choice. The choice of remaking the original is made on the basis that the interest lies in the originals distinctiveness (Lieth, 2009) thus the Hollywood rational follows: our remake will be even better because the nostalgia for the original was so strong… However, because the $ incentive of nostalgia is so strong, the pastiche for the original is almost lost in translation – what is left is an ‘echo’ of the original idea, re-named, re-packaged and ultimately re-written.
This sort of remake has no balance what so ever. Now that this model has been constructed, it would be interesting to test this theory by feedback from other enthusiasts of film. Go on-line and check out any movie and you will most likely find that it is being re-made. Think about the remakes you have seen over the last 10 years and then answer the following. The questions do not have to apply to the same films.

QUESTIONS
A -  In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better with tons of CGI explosions and hot chicks and quick inter-cutting ? Was the original so old it needed a total re-vamp ?
B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why not ? Does it work as an adaptation of the source material ?
C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the memories you had for the original and if not, why ?
D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song, with the unlimited resources of Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more important ? Nowness, Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three?

Explain your answers in relation to whether this model works or not. Does the triple scale model help clarify how remakes work ? 
Thank you for your time.
Bibliography
Barthes, R. (1984) Camera Lucida.  London: Fontana, pp.22—32.
Dorsky, N. Devotional Cinema (2005) Revised Second Edition Tuumba Press

Druxman, M (1975) Make It Again, Sam. (p20) London: Thomas Yoseloff Ltd

Eberwien, R, (1998) Remakes and Cultural Studies in Horton and McDougal’s Play it Again Sam, University of California Press, Chapter One p-15-19.

Friedman L.D. p158, Citizen Spielberg, (2006) University if Illinois Press.
(Post 911 issues in remakes)

Greenburg, H,R, (1998) Raiders of the Lost Text: Remaking as Contested Homage in ‘Always’ Studies in Horton and McDougal’s Play it Again Sam, University of California Press, Chapter Seven p.115-17.

Lieth, Sam, (5/10/09) Why is it the great movies that get remade-and not dross like Howard the Duck ? in G2 supplement, The Guardian, p22

Mandell,P. Dino Kong, p128 An Open Letter to Universal and Dino De Laurentiis
. in King Kong Cometh. 2005 Plexus Publishing Ltd

McDonald, M. in Screen 47:3 Autumn 2006, Performing memory in Television: documentary and the 1960’s  Oxford University Press

Rubio, S. p28 in King Kong is back (2005)  Benbella Books, Dallas,  Texas

Filmography
Dawn Of  The Dead (George A Romero, 1978, USA)

Dawn Of  The Dead (Zack Snyder , 2004, USA)

King Kong (Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack 1933 USA)

King Kong (Dino De Laurentiss, 1976 USA)

King Kong (Peter Jackson, 2005 USA)

Shaun Of the Dead (Edgar Wright ,2004, USA)

The War of the Worlds ( Byron Haskin, George Pal,1953, USA)

War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg, 2005, USA)


Appendices B
This section is the responses by a cross section of individuals in regard to the model suggested in last section.


QUESTIONS:

A - In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better with tons of CGI explosions and hot chicks and quick inter-cutting? Was the original so old it needed a total re-vamp?

B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why not? Does it work as an adaptation of the source material?

C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the memories you had for the original and if not, why?

D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song, with the unlimited resources of Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more important ? Nowness, Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three?


Explain your answers in relation to whether this model works or not. Does the triple scale model help clarify how remakes work?

Thank you for your time.

ANSWERS:


Re: Dissertation Questionair‏
From:
John Perkins (johnyperks@yahoo.co.uk)
Sent:
24 May 2010 15:47:40
To:
Jayson Scott Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)
Hi Jay

I got your email about the questions I went to the link and it was to much to read plays nuts with my dyslexia on the computer.
I'm surprised you didn't put this in the DFV email user group. You might have got more responses. Although i liked reading the email address; "
Julian Lamp Dude on my course <gokurakumaru@hotmail.co.uk>" lol

I originally was thinking about squeals, that is what i thought you were writing about. I was getting confused between sequels and remakes. I probably didn't listen right.

Have you written about Oceans 11 (2001) remake of the 1960 original which might be an example of a good remake. i remember the director or producer saying that when they made it originally know one really cared about it. I think he was meaning at that time studios were still just churning films out. although they had good people in it. It was a Warner brothers Pictures and the remake is Warner Brothers.

Good Luck
John
(Student, London)



From: nancygirl18@hotmail.com
To: jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk
Subject: RE: Dissertation Questionair
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 11:28:36 +0100

hi Jay,

IU'm not really sure what you want me to do...do you want me to critique or to opinionate or do you just want me to say if i understand it?

I've read it and there is some spelling and grammer errors i can see, i will fix them for you if you send me a word document because its a pdf i can't alter anything.

im not really sure what you are trying to say, its a little confused to me...i get the impression that remakes often try and recapture the original but also have their own take on how it should be reproduced. remaking films to me seems pointless because the original film is always better in most repects, remaking films in modern day should only be about improving special effects in my opinion. rehashing old stories is just a mark of how stilted and hackneyed the film writers have become that they cannot come up with original ideas and have to steal others. In that respect i think i agree with your model...:S

hope that helps?

lils

(Student, Southampton)

Re: Dissertation Questionair‏
From:
Marie-Catherine Ehuy (marieehuy@googlemail.com)
Sent:
23 May 2010 23:29:48
To:
Jayson Scott Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)

Attachments:
2 attachments | Download all attachments (139.9 KB)

version2.jpg (101.1 KB), Abstract-...jpg (38.8 KB)


I think it makes sense to me, haven't had the time to do the questionnaire but it all sounds very clever and I'm no good with academic stuff so I don't know how much that means!

Just a quick note, quotation marks are missing for your quotes and don't forget to do a space after the writers name i.e (Dunnage, 2002)

Also, i will be away but i will still be checking my emails and updating the screenshots/ blurbs page. Please take a look at the logos attached and let me know what you think.

Good luck with your dissertation!

Marie

(Student, London)







RE: Dissertation Questionair‏
From:
Julian Dobrev (gokurakumaru@hotmail.co.uk)
Sent:
24 May 2010 14:25:55
To:
Jayson Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)

Attachments:
1 attachment

Julian An...doc (25.5 KB)

Hey Jayson,

Here's my answers to your questionnaire. Interesting material to read I'm sure it'll be a great Dissertation.

Good luck with finishing it off.

All The Best,


Julian


(Student, London)


Julian Answers to Jays Questionnaire!




ANSWERS:

A – Very rarely does an update of an originally good film seem better with tons of CGI and modernised editing techniques. Although ‘hot chicks’ when used wisely can actually – ahem!… anyway. Even if the film was black and white I still do not think it can be classified as ‘so old it needs a total re-vamp’.



B – In terms of Pastiche a remake is not a direct copy because it is an alternate retelling of the original material. For example a movie that is not re-making any of its predecessors on film can perhaps be adapting other source material. In this sense Pastiche is not a remake but an adaptation of original material into film—or as you’ve said, ‘to re-interpret in a new perspective (Adams, 2010:4)’.



C – Use of Nostalgia is definitely an attempt at trying to re-kindle memories of the original. Peter Jackson’s King Kong for example recaptures the ever-lovable Kong (brother of Donkey and Hong ^o^).



DNowness, Pastiche and Nostalgia all have something distinct to offer so perhaps finding a balance between all three.



Does the triple scale model help clarify how remakes work?

Yes.



Bibliography


Adams, J. S. (2010) Triple Scale Theory of Remakes. London: Jayson Scott Adams Publishing. JJJ





Re: Dissertation Questionair‏
From:
Karen Lee Street (karenleestreet@mac.com)
Sent:
24 May 2010 14:01:21
To:
Jayson Scott Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)
 

Hi Jayson,

 

Interesting idea. I think you have something with the theoretical 

model, but also think your definitions could be clearer maybe. 

Anyway, I will try to answer your questions.

QUESTIONS
A - In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better
with tons of CGI explosions and
hot chicks and quick inter-cutting ? Was the original so old it needed
a total re-vamp ?
NO
 
B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why
not ? Does it work as an adaptation
of the source material ?
I just watched The Invasion so... it does add a new element (the
virus) I prefer the original, despite it's kitsch factor because it's
definitely scarier, but I didn't hate The Invasion bcause I did think
the virus bit had potential. (I missed the beginning.) It was flat,
however. I THINK the 70s remake with Donald Sutherland was more true
to original story? That was better than newest version.
3:10 to Yuma is more of a direct copy... but I think the father/ son
relationship is developed more. I liked it alot. Might like it more
than original due to psychological angle/ depth.

C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the
memories you had for the original
and if not, why ?
nostalgia: tends to be more negative comparisons for me if the
original film was good. Normally I'd rather see the original or a
more radical remake. Remakes that work for me tend to be culturally
specific remakes -- not so much Europe to Hollywood, but maybe
Hollywood to Europe! Example: Seven Samurai.
 
Also, I think of "nostalgia films" as films with kids or teens as the
lead, so nostalgia is a loaded term for me. I think there's a
difference between nostalgia films that make the audience think back
to being a kid or a teen as opposed to family films designed for kids
to watch. But this is just me thinking of your term in a specific way.
 
D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song,
with the unlimited resources of
Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more
important ? Nowness,
Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three?
If by pastiche you mean bringing an original angle while paying an
homage to the original work, then that would be motivating factor;
nostalgia -- yes, if that is connected to respect to original work
(like doing a new interpretation of a play) "Nowness" can be
interesting, but it's icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

Karen

(Teacher, London)



 RE: Questionair on film remakes‏
From:
tristan casey (caseybigfoot@hotmail.com)
Sent:
24 May 2010 14:04:32
To:
jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk
in reply to question 3

when i watch remakes or adaptations i usually find myself daydreaming about the source material or original screen text. mostly i think about why it was cool for the very reasons they have remade it and the opposition in that fact. there is the occasional rekindling of my feelings for the original but mostly i just think remakes are rubbish. but then, im not watching this material with fresh eyes, im not a child any more. i end up saying what most people say when they see a remake, 'WHAAAT? why have they done that, the orginal was much better'

question 4

all three elements are extremly important in thier own rights. each one however must have the right balance. you MUST honour the original for its glories otherwise the the entire film becomes a defunct cash in with little more purpose than box office results and usually wont do well. 

i think its important to keep the nostalgia but there are certain types to which i would adhere. firstly i wouldnt do something just because the original did it. unless of course it serves the story and theme of the film.  these can of course be updated to serve modern themes but theres an old saying which i think hollywood ignores outright these days and that is 'if it aint broke, dont fix it!'.

i hate nowness! fashion, CGI all that shit is just a way to make audiences relate. but its a cheap way. if you cant make your audience relate with you theme and story then no amount of nowness is going to do you any good. you can stick as much product placement and contemporary jargon in there as you like, but if people dont relate to your characters and  themes then your film is lost!


hope this helps mate. i think your onto a winner there

all the best

casey

Film Student, Southampton


RE: Questionair on film remakes‏
From:
lilian france (france_lilian@hotmail.com)
Sent:
24 May 2010 14:20:45
To:
jason adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)

Attachments:
1 attachment

jason que...docx (11.7 KB)


hope this helps

i have answered in attached file

lily
Brighton


A - In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better with tons of CGI explosions and
hot chicks and quick inter-cutting ? Was the original so old it needed a total re-vamp?

Lord of the rings- this is one of my favourites, the original unfinished version was good dark and interesting....but its remark is a great achievement....and was a needed re-mark as the original fell into too many pit falls due to the lack of CGI and other modern editing technology.

B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why not? Does it work as an adaptation of the source material ?

No it is not a direct copy....obvious the original version did not work...

C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the memories you had for the original
and if not, why ?

No because the original was incomplete, the re make set out to go where the original could not go....making it not nostalgic for the original film, but for the original text.

D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song, with the unlimited resources of
Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more important? Nowness,
Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three?
I suppose all three have their place, but nostalgia and pastiche are only relevant if you audience have seen the original film, if they have not then your audience with have no reference point to the original. Which is probably why there is probably a good 15 years between original and remake...a generation gap of this time space may help to bring the re make into an era of its own thus owing more to its newness than to anything else....

Dear Jason
I hope this is helpful.
Lily xxx


Re: Dissertation Questionair‏
From:
ezgzpz@googlemail.com
Sent:
23 May 2010 23:15:01
To:
Jayson Scott Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)
.
QUESTIONS
A - In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better with tons of CGI explosions and
hot chicks and quick inter-cutting ? Was the original so old it needed a total re-vamp ?

... it can be argued that there are very few , new original ideas ( whether in film music science or anything ) so nothing wrong with repeating the good ones , with continuing relevance ( the prevalence of hero myths in storytelling for example ). The thing is whether it SEEMS better or actually IS better.... chances are it seems better now , especially to a younger trendy audience , but whether it is or not is harder to define.
i think that the new star trek movie was AWESOME.... it had a good balance of your 3 parameters.

B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why not ? Does it work as an adaptation
of the source material ?
.
.....in case of star trek , no it is not a direct copy , but a successful pastiche of the elements of the original... the plot is original , though the integrity of the pastiche is very good. it has a knowledgeable ,sympathetic , but not slavish devotion to its source....indeed it respects the original to the degree that a pure pastiche with no imagination would seem disrespectful to it's imaginative premise.

C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the memories you had for the original
and if not, why ?

...yes , especially with the overall updated visual design, but also in a more subtle way , by playing on ingrained sympathies with the familiar characters .

D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song, with the unlimited resources of
Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more important ? Nowness,
Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three?

.....I would make a sequel to it , not remake it...if it was made as well as the first with the same balanced approach to the 3 parameters then the film would be AWESOME
If I was going to remake anything , where the original is really really good , then it would have to be FORBIDDEN PLANET..( ironically a remake of Shakespeare's the tempest )..

......in the case of Forbidden Planet , nowness initially seems most important , as relatively few people ( compared to star trek ) will know it well enough to feel nostalgia ( except for a general nostalgia for 50's b movies ) and it's relative obscurity makes pastiche less important , except in its maintaining of a meaningful adaptation of the primary source material ( the tempest ).


I still think that the 3 elements would have to be well , though not necessarily evenly balanced for the film to be a success.


Gareth
Brighton


Re: Dissertation Questionair‏
From:
Roy Hanney (royhanney@yahoo.co.uk)
Sent:
23 May 2010 11:56:20
To:
Jayson Scott Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)
If you want to email me a doc version I am happy to add corrections and feedback (obviously you are dyslexic from your writing and am happy to offer some constructive critique as well as grammatical feedback). meanwhile here are my answers:

QUESTIONS 
A -  In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better with tons of CGI explosions and
hot chicks and quick inter-cutting ? Was the original so old it needed a total re-vamp ? 

Generally I do not enjoy remakes and tend to avoid watching them however there have been some films that have benfitted.... Nowness can be a good reason to update a film and place it in a relevant modern context though I can not think of any off the top of my head. It doesnt have to be about utilising modern film production techniques; steadycam; bullet time; cgi etc... the context of a story can change - for example Batman as a movie reinvents the character in a way that is closer to the orginal comic in terms of the emotional narrative as opposed to the slapstick of the orginal TV series. On the other hand the first Batman films attempt to connote a 'realness' that then undermines the film. If they had remade Batman now.. with the state of the art approach that SIn City et al utlised they would probably had more success but there again... they had to start somewhere and the first Batman movie opend the door... In conclusion NOWNESS is certainly a good reason to remake a film but it has to be for narrative reasons not cause you can blow things up better.

B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why not ? Does it work as an adaptation
of the source material ?

Yes of course though in the case of the Pink Panther it seems rather silly to attempt to pastiche a pastiche and all feels a little too pintlesly post modern to be worth while and consequently I did not bother to see it. I can not think of an example but yes pastiche can work but generally audiences might find it all a bit to clever and not enough explosions.

C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the memories you had for the original
and if not, why ?

I have certainly gone back to the orginal after watching remakes and enjoyed that even more often though I fiond I prefer the orginal as it always seems to carry something unique and special about it that is lost in the adaption/remake. Whish I could think of some examples.


D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song, with the unlimited resources of
Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more important ? Nowness,
Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three?

Dr Who is an interesting example of a remake as it seems to work with all three and quite succesfully. Wierdly the nowness is connoted in the new series with a rather STEAM PUNK tardis and a disnticnt nostagia for the DR by the Dr and it certainly pastichees itself it wouldnt work if it did not. Perhaps that is the essence of a timelord Pastiche, Nostalgia and Nowness all rolled up into one character... nice....
 

Roy Hanney
Lecturer Chichester
Mr Randolph: Harold, an impoverished pensioner, devises a cunning plan to escape from penury with the assistance of his faithful friend.
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Re: Questionair on film remakes‏
From:
Johannes Schaff (johannesschaff@googlemail.com)
Sent:
25 May 2010 14:20:38
To:
Jayson Scott Adams (jaysonscottadams@hotmail.co.uk)
Hey buddy, i am vefry busy so didnt have much time. I like the scales allot!

hope this makes sense.

x
j.

A -  In terms of Nowness does the update of the original seem better with tons of CGI explosions and 
hot chicks and quick inter-cutting ? Was the original so old it needed a total re-vamp ?  


Depends on the original, and the time passed. Some Very old films do seem to have problems to translate to a present time audiences, due to techniques and pacing that; though skill full, artistic and beautiful; are alien to modern audiences. Certain special effects might seem uneccesary dated and thus fail to dazzle but rather amuse the modern / average viewer. 
Your mentioned example King kong strikes as a succesful example. (note  king kong is a novel so technically Peter Jackson's version isn't a remake but a re-imagening of the same story. 

Then there is The departed. Here the nowness is european culture where the original is set in Thailand? somewhere east anyway. I think the departed is a good example of a failed remake. it discards all the cinematic style of the first one, and puts the story in a western setting so a western audience feels at home. It sucked. 

But then there is reservoir dogs itself a reshaped remake of a hong kong film. I guess it does the same thing, but it dos innovate in filmic terms of sound and cinematography. reservoir dogs comes out trumps.



B - In terms of Pastiche, is the remake a direct copy and if not, why not ? Does it work as an adaptation 
of the source material ? 

I am not sure about this question. Funny games is a very direct copy. Shot for shot by the same director. The only reason here is to have the advantage of language over the distraction of english subtitles in the german original. but it isnt pastiche, Psycho is supposed to be pastiche, but it is just boring lacking any innovation. 


C - In terms of Nostalgia, does this remake actually re-kindle the memories you had for the original 
and if not, why? 

I think it usually fails, because for me alien / outdated techniques are part of nostalgia. I like stop motion for being funny, and cgi is usually quiet sleek and thus cold.


D - If you were to hypothetically remake that film, Tv serial or song, with the unlimited resources of 
Hollywood at your disposal – what would it be and which would be more important ? Nowness, 
Pastiche, Nostalgia or all three? 

I have no plans of doing any remakes. but i could see myself doing a re imagening of an allready filmed novel like frankenstein or dracula.


Johannes

Freelance filmmaker, London