Let Me In
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Author:  Pete [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Let Me In

Out now. Trailer here:-

Author:  Matthew S Dent [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:35 am ]
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I don't get it. The Swedish film is what, two years old? I haven't seen it. Was it so bad that it needed redoing already?

Author:  Ray [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:00 am ]
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No, it was good. But some people don't like to read a film apparently. (One of my students moaned about Quarantine the other day because "it's pretty much the same as Rec"...)

What I don't get is the need to change the title. It loses a lot in my opinion, and I don't like the first-person perspective it suggests now.

I'll probably watch the darned thing though. :roll:

Author:  Pete [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:05 am ]
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I was watching an interview with Michael Haneke the other night, in which he explained why he remade "Funny Games" in America, even though the script was exactly the same, just a different cast and locations. He said that in German it wasn't reaching the audience it needed to reach.

Author:  Matthew S Dent [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:31 am ]
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I'm not sold, to be honest Pete. I have real issues with remakes, particularly of foreign language films, largely because it seems a) to take away the fundamental cultural basis, and b) because it seems fairly insulting to the original makers. It seems to say "We're going to redo it, but right this time".

Or maybe that's just me. I don't know. Subtitles have never bothered me, and I don't see what's gained by the remake. I haven't seen Quarantine because I quite liked [Rec] and don't see what's to be gained by setting it in the US.

But maybe I'm just a grouchy old purist, I don't know.

Author:  Matthew S Dent [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:44 am ]
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Hmmm, I think I feel a blog entry coming on...

Author:  Pete [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:04 pm ]
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While he didn't spell things out, my impression is that basically what Haneke was saying was that he couldn't reach the audience he wanted because they wouldn't be doing with subtitles, so he had to reshoot for the US.

I don't have any trouble with subtitles, and about remakes I'm in two minds. My main objection is that they're mostly unnecessary, and seldom improve on the original (there are exceptions such as Carpenter's "Thing"). This is mainly because instead of redoing the gazillion films that almost certainly could be improved, the makers fixate on classics, presumably because that's where they think the money is.

Matthew wrote:-
It seems to say "We're going to redo it, but right this time".

Not sure I agree with that. It's more likely the thinking is 'we're going to do it again because we can make more money that way'. I don't really have a problem, in principle anyway, with remakes that reinterpret the original and put it into a different time or cultural context (e.g. "Romeo and Juliet" reified as "West Side Story" or, in a different medium, Ravel scoring Mussorsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" for orchestra). It isn't necessarily disrespectful to the original. What concerns me more, is that too often remakes of foreign films are simply a means of papering over the cracks in our own (or the US) film industry, the lack of original ideas.

Author:  Ray [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:35 pm ]
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I'm not sure about a lack of original ideas, but maybe a lack in daring to try some - there are loads of writers out there with fresh ideas constantly frustrated by the same old same old studios play it safe with. It's a conversation that can lead into sequals cashing in, and television (how many 'new gritty crime dramas' can there be?). It's a shame not everyone will watch a subtitled film but I can see why it might be remade in order to attract those 'non-readers'.

The remakes I have a problem with are things like Nightmare on Elmstreet and a shot-for-shot Psycho, but then I know a lot of that resistance on my part will be due to personal fond memories of the originals that most likely blind me to the merits of remakes (and the flaws of the originals, probably).

Author:  Pete [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:40 pm ]
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Ray wrote:-
I'm not sure about a lack of original ideas, but maybe a lack in daring to try some

Yeah, that's probably more on the money.

Author:  Matthew S Dent [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:29 pm ]
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You both make very good points. There's certainly a unwillingness on the part of the studios to try anything new or groundbreaking, even though writers are certainly playing around with it. And money is undoubtedly a major factor (taking your example, Ray, the wholly unnecessary Nightmare on Elm Street, which was made only because it's a famous "brand" and would draw crowds in on that account alone).

But, and maybe I'm alone in this, I do think remaking a film (especially as recent a film as Let the Right One In) is a little insulting. For example, if I made a film, which was a moderate success, and then a US studio came in and remade it, I'd find that quite insulting to my own efforts really.

Author:  Pete [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:14 pm ]
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But if you feel insulted, presumably all you have to do is say no to whatever offer they put on the table.

I've no idea of the ins and outs, but I'd imagine the Swedish makers of "Let the Right One In" purchased some form of rights from Lindqvist, and so if an American version got made either they would have had to pay the Swedes handsomely, or possibly the author if different rights were involved. It's unlikely anyone felt insulted, or if they did they got over it long enough to cash the cheque.

It's also likely that the remake will bring a lot of extra attention to the original and so boost DVD sales.

Author:  Matthew S Dent [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:51 pm ]
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That's a very good point Pete. I hadn't considered that the makers of the originals get the decision over whether to sell the rights.

Author:  Andy [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:04 pm ]
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That is a good point about DVD sales. The original ("and still the best") has been re-released with new packaging and everything, and is bound to do well.

I watched the original again the other night, and it's even better than I thought it was. Exquisite, beautiful film, one of the best I've ever seen.

Author:  Andy [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:07 pm ]
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Andy wrote:
Exquisite, beautiful film, one of the best I've ever seen.

You know, in my opinion. :)

Author:  Paul Woodward [ Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:56 pm ]
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I too enjoyed Let the Right One In.

I will have to wait for the DVD for Let Me In and then do a little compare and contrast session.

There is a big hook in the trailer for Let Me In (pardon the pun) as a big brown claw thing comes out of the bath water between her legs and then disappears as soon as she opens her eyes. A 1 + as trailer / advert I think.

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