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On the Filmspotting site, they are currently having a poll on who should be cast for the role of the female lead in the US remake of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. When I just read that, I had to gulp and felt sad and and and… here is what I thought:
“why the hell would anybody in his right mind want to remake this beautiful film in the first place?”

I know it’s a different story altogether (and maybe an idea for a marathon on “successful remakes”? should be half-marathon at most), but: is it the European insde me or just somebody who likes good movies who CRINGES whenever he hears the word “remake” (or worse: “US remake”…)? I now sit down for one minute and try to come up with a single US film that was remade from a non-English original and that was good. … still thinking … ok, scale it down, that was “acceptable”? … still nothing…  Shall we bet that “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” will become an honourable member of the League of Boring Remakes, joining the likes of “Solaris”, “Funny Games”, “[rec]”, “Ringu”, … and will soon be joined by “Let the Right One In”?
Language is such an important factor in any movie. Depriving the Swedish-conceived and Swedish-written Swedish characters driven by a Swedish conflict of all its local colour and just wrapping it in an American warm-up meal tinfoil box.. I really would like to understand WHY WHY WHY this happens so frequently, even though those not only are not good, I cannot even remember one that has been moderately successful. The audience does not want to get fooled. What it wants is to get trained to watch stories from other regions and other language zones, to take in great stories from all over the world. Language is only a barrier if the film is rubbish. You can savour any Kurosawa, Tarkowksi or Bergman film without understanding the language, because film language and substitles work together very well if the movie is a good movie.

Need to get back to re-watch “Dogtooth” now. Next to “The Prophet” the most interesting film I have seen all year, hope Michael Bay won’t remake either of them.

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3 Comments

  1. Not only “why remake it?” in general (I confess I was glad that Let Me In flopped, though it was pretty good and Chloe Moretz is excellent), but (as far as I’m concerned), recasting Lisbeth is like trying to recast the Dude or Ethan Edwards. I can’t imagine anybody surpassing (or equaling) Noomi Rapace’s performance.

  2. as a matter of fact, this creates the strange situation that I believe I will miss a perfectly fine film (Let Me In), but I just cannot be bothered, and dread a situation where I just check the boxes of how the film is or is not identical to the original. That does not sound like cinematic fun to me. maybe in a year or two…

  3. I skipped Let Me In in the theater, but saw it on DVD mostly because of Chloe Moretz, who was great in Kick-Ass.

    But it was surprising how similar it was to the original, even shot-by-shot. The thing that killed it for me, though (and I expected this), was that they dropped the whole gender angle, which is actually really important in the original (IMHO).


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  1. […] – or at least not as well written as the first one.  The actors are all very fine, and I repeat my notion that it is a sheer idiocy to refilm the whole thing in an American setting. But the movie experience […]

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