Sunday, August 5, 2007

Funny Games 2: The Return (AKA We're Out Of Ideas)

In addition to Sleuth, Michael Haneke is remaking his own film, "Funny Games." The original is a tense classic that makes a very powerful statement. It still holds up extremely well, as it only came out only ten years ago. Now, granted his filmmaking has changed quite a bit in those ten years and I'm sure this version will be different, perhaps better. Also, the last one didn't feature any names, and this one features Naomi Watts, Michael Pitt and Tim Roth.

But I can't imagine, in ten years, completely retreading the entirety of my "High Cost of Living" album. I've already made that statement. It's out there for anyone who wants to hear it. Isn't it time for me to make a new statement?

Why would Michael Haneke, an incredible filmmaker, duplicate his own film? I mean, they're even using a blueprint of the original set to make sure the new one has identical dimensions! The producers have stated they're remaking it shot for shot. (That worked so well when Gus Van Sant did it with Psycho -- booooo). Haneke says, "Localization is required to fully understand the Funny Games experience." Heaven forbid we be exposed to another culture, or get to know some new actors. Why do this? Oh right, money.

I get it, it's the American remake. That wonderful new tradition. Are people really so stupid that they can't watch a ten year old movie from Germany? Read a few subtitles? Oh really, they are? Could they watch an English dub, then? Do we really have to reshoot the entire thing just for these idiots? Oh really, we do? Fantastic.

Why don't we remake Paris Je T'aime already then? And it can take place in Chicago. And the segments will be directed by Brett Ratner and Michael Bay. And no one with an IQ over 15 can get into the theater.

Let's just have a moment of silence for all the terrible American remakes of great foreign films, with watered-down themes and missing subtext:

Open Your Eyes - Vanilla Sky
Spoorloos - The Vanishing
Les Diaboliques - Diabolique
Ringu - The Ring
Shall We Dance
Mostly Martha - No Reservations
Honoguarai Mizu No Soko Kara - Dark Water
Ju-On - The Grudge

And there are so many more. Let us mourn.

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