Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It has been a week since i've blogged. It was a strangely lackluster week. A few screenings, plus stuff on television.

This past weekend was Gay Pride weekend in New York City. NY1 carried some footage on Sunday, Larry actually was in Manhattan and saw some of the parade. It's a very different experience now. The whole religious contingent would have been unimaginable in 1970. And now, that's one of the biggest parts of the parade.

Saw a few movies. Anthology is going to be showing the fabled "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation", which was a film made by kids (three 12 year-olds) starting in 1982. I'd been reading about this movie for years. By the time they finished with the movie, they (Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, and Jason Lamb) were almost adults. They tried to make a shot-for-shot "remake" of their favorite movie.

When people wrote about it in the past few years, it was always as the ultimate fanboy gesture: devoting 7 years of your life to trying to recreate the Hollywood blockbuster you loved as a child. George Lucas (who is notoriously prickly about his rights) was even charmed by the craziness of this work, well, charmed enough to the extent that he hasn't tried to prosecute them. And Spielberg has gone on record as feeling very honored by their devotion to the original film.

And it's some sort of crazy feat, and it's certainly adorable in its fanatic way...

Of course, there are all those works which are post-modern pastiches, the point being that the difference between Gus Van Sant's remake of "Psycho" and Zala-Strompolos-Lamb's remake of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is a matter of scale. "Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation" is home-grown, with the most ingenious substitutions.

And this brings to mind a discussion i had, about whether it's important (or not) that a film is "independent" (if it claims to be). It's the arguments that people had over "Little Miss Sunshine": there was something distasteful about the claims that "Little Miss Sunshine" was an independent production. The studio machinations to "remake" "Psycho" seemed rather superfluous (it also wasnt' really a shot-for-shot remake; there were differences, and the shots were often not the same, e.g., shot from a different angle, different composition, etc.) but in the case of seeing children remaking a big-budget Hollywood epic, there's an incongruity and an innocence, and that's charming.


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