There’s a lot of stuff that leads me to despair on a day-to-day basis. Some of these include the fact that people willingly pay money to go the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in Piccadilly, the fact that some people genuinely seem to think voting UKIP is a good idea, and the fact that the same Audi blocks my car in my drive constantly despite how aggressively I write notes and put them on their windscreen. I’m fairly sure the driver of said Audi both thinks Farage is ‘charming’ rather than some sort of badly written character from a racist 70’s sitcom called ‘There goes the neighbourhood’ and is probably also amazed that the world’s smallest car really is that tiny. Even though if they had access to it, they’d still probably find a way to use it to block my car in.
Also on this list are remakes. Just the fact that they exist in general. Remakes as a thing. As a thing someone without any imagination at all thought up just to help others avoid using any of theirs. Today I saw that proprietor of celluloid vomit Baz Lurhmann on C4 news discussing his Great Gatsby remake which, as with all Bazza’s films, contains dancing, singing, shiny things, people constantly speaking like they are shitting themselves at the time and more dancing. I haven’t seen it and I’m not going to, but regardless of whether its good or not, which it clearly won’t be and isn’t, I just don’t know why he’s made it at all. There have been four previous Great Gatsby films, this one being the fifth. The story is a great story. But as it already exists, why do it again other than to a) boost your own director ego that you can do it better, b) use it as part of your plan to add shiny dancing to every film that’s clearly missing it until you have remade everything more camp than it originally was because you are frustrated with your life at home or c) because making something new would require actually having some original thoughts.
It may well be a) or b) but for the sake of this blog and the fact that the other two wouldn’t fit in with my general anger at remakes, its definitely, probably c). Its not just Lurhmann that’s responsible for this lack of imagination. It’s all over the entertainment world like a boring rash that was probably around before but now its been done in 3D. In the last few years there have been tons of remakes. Some of shit films that have arguably been made better, some of films that were made perfectly but in the interest of shattering memories were remade with a serious lack of quality. There are some films that were dull and have been remade dull, which at least kept true to the original. Then as well as remakes you have re-imaginings. These are all the films and shows that are characters that have already existed but have been re-imagined or just remade with someone younger, often creating a backstory or plot to stories that were already great. But now knowing that the ins and outs of Norman Bates’ upbringing or Hannibal’s previous exploits allow us to really appreciate the original stories starting at the point where something worth telling actually happened. The reason most stories don’t need prequels is because up until the point we start watching the film, those characters lives were probably not worth putting in a film. A Spiderman prequel would just be a kid, at school. Titanic, some people building a boat. Which to be fair, I’d have enjoyed more than the actual film.
Ultimately what bothers me about all these things is it gives the impression we as a people, have run out of ideas. Which I’m certain we haven’t. I’ve got tons. Lots of people online seem to have loads. Even people who’s ideas I really don’t want to hear. But clearly producers have run out of ideas. So they need a story that they don’t need to take risks with because its already been a blockbuster or people already like the character involved. Or it has that celebrity that’s in absolutely everything so they must be good. And as a result people only hear the stories they already know or learn more about that one character they already knew, all the while never checking the original outings of said character as they aren’t in HD or even colour. These people then go on to only write stories about those characters they already know or re-imagine the stories they’ve already heard. Then at some point we get to Baz Lurhmann remaking Clash of the Titans with dance numbers, songs and people sounding like they are shitting themselves and at that point, art dies. It would just be nice if we celebrated and nurtured imagination again. Says a man who’s pretty sure he’s written a blog about this before.
I am being over the top and generalising somewhat. There is new stuff out there of course. Some really great writing leading to exciting TV and film. But then there are also 50 Remakes that are currently in production or coming out soon: http://www.nextmovie.com/blog/upcoming-movie-remakes/