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Friday
Feb102012

Three Terrible Ideas Involving Lesbians, Vampires, and Lennons

Hey, Let's Remake a Hitchcock!
While some of us enjoyed Gus Van Sant's maligned Psycho (1998) experiment in "recreation" (hey, it's more honest than "reboot") -- generally we're forgiving of artistic experiments in comparison to parasitic cash-grabs --  remaking Hitchcock movies is never a good idea in the strictest sense of the word "good". Think of the relief on the internetz when that new version of The Birds didn't take flight. See, Alfred Hitchcock is not like so many great auteurs of yore that today's audiences aren't familiar with. If there is any classic Hollywood director that contemporary mainstream audiences still 'get,' isn't it Hitchcock? The latest of his features someone wants to remake is Rebecca (1940). Maybe there should be a law against remaking Best Picture winners? I do not trust anyone in 2012 with "Mrs. Danvers". Back away from the apparitional lesbians*!

Hey, Let's Keep Making Vampire Pictures!
Doesn't anyone in Hollywood worry about bankrolling trends long past their sell-by date? While it's true that vampires never go completely out of style they do sometimes hibernate, burrowing deep into the ground until they're ready to engage again (a la The Vampire Lestat), in terms of pop culture popularity. So after two plus decades of vampire madness doesn't it seem like that bubble could burst at any moment and someone will lose bazillions of dollars? As far as I can tell 2012 and 2013 are already so stuffed with vampires onscreens both large and small that eventually audiences will be wearing garlic when they approach the TV or multiplex. But they've decided to make another one called Harker in which Jonathan Harker is no longer a Keanu Reeves like lawyer but a Russell Crowe like investigator for Scotland yard.

Hey, Let's Adapt Movies No One Saw Into Broadway Shows That Are About Famous Musicians Whose Songs We Don't Have the Rights To!
Remember that biopic about John Lennon's pre-fame years called Nowhere Boy? It had one of those long torturous 'what year does this film belong to' releases 'round the world but never caught on. It's the film that introduced us to Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass, Albert Nobbs) who we now seem to be stuck with. It also introduced him to director Sam Taylor Wood and they're happily co-habitating and child-rearing three years later. But I'm losing the point. One of the distracting things about the movie, which made narrative but not emotional sense was the absence of Beatles. Now moneyburning people are adapting it into a Broadway musical. Who pray tell would spend $100+ a ticket to see an original musical about the founding members of the Beatles that is not a Beatles jukebox** musical???

*Nick introduced me to the term apparitional lesbians. I'm forever grateful because it's so damn useful. And fun to say. Try it.

** I hate jukebox musicals. I'm not suggesting someone should make one here, just that that's what audiences would want if they went to a show about John Lennon.

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Reader Comments (8)

God I hate jukebox musicals too.

The only thing about Rebecca - I can see it MAYBE working if they are going back to the original novel, and not remaking the Hitchcock film per se....oh, who am I kidding, it's a lousy idea.

they need to stop remaking/rebooting things that are perfect to begin with, (or just the way they need to be, if not "perfect"); if they want to do that, maybe they should stick to underseen or unknown film (there are thousands of them) that weren't exactly great to begin with. Then there's some room for possible improvement.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

as much as i don't support the remake trend, i could see Rebecca working with the right casting/director/etc. i once had a thought of what Tilda would be like as Mrs. Danvers, so if that (or if something as good as that) happened i'd be all for it.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterolivia

I see Rebecca as more of a Daphne du Maurier property than a Hitchcock one. Besides, for me it's decidedly un-Hitchcockian, muck more Selznickian. If it's literature, it belongs to the world, and the fact that people would want to limit the number of interpretations down to one is depressing. To me, at least. Rebecca's survived numerous small screen incarnations (let's not forget Diana Rigg has an Emmy for her Mrs. Danvers), so it's sure to survive another big screen one.

As a side note, I understand I'm in the minority here, but I think Hitchcock's Rebecca, his ONLY Best Picture winner -- is awful. Boring, poorly acted by Joan Fontaine, insistently-scored...I've been hoping and praying for a remake.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L. Hollmann

I'm okay with a remake of Rebecca. Remaking Vertigo, I might wonder about. But this story seems like it can withstand repeat visits and distinct visions (and as Walter points out, it already has. Charles Dance!)

Nathaniel, I am just now making final revisions to a book chapter about apparitional lesbians! They are always with us.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

I agree that remaking Rebecca is a rotten idea and its not even one of my favorite Hitchcock movies but if it had to happen I could see Angelica Huston totally rockin' Mrs. Danvers. I think it would be harder to cast someone correctly as I.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I don't think remaking Rebecca is a bad idea, per se, but it all depends on how they approach. If they approach as "This is a remake of a Hitchcock film," that's a bad idea. But if they approach it as "This is another adaptation of a popular Daphne du Marier novel," then, well, that's not such a bad idea after all. And I say this as a huge fan of Hitchcock's Rebecca. It's one my favorites by him, along with Shadow of a Doubt and Psycho.

I was thinking the exact same thing as Olivia once I heard this. They gotta give Swinton a call.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMicguar

Mrs. Danvers: Tilda, Cate, Meryl, Anjelica, McTeer, McDormand, Close, Patricia Clarkson, Melissa Leo, Judy Davis...

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

If they must remake Rebecca, I want to see Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Danvers.

February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicolas Mancuso
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