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Play It Again, Sam: Retakes On Remakes
by Andrew Horton And Stuart Y. Mcdougal
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From Library Journal
This collection of original essays on movie remakes explores the phenomenon from divergent anglesAand not just the artistic. Included are a psychological examination of the motivation of a specific director (Spielberg), a Freudian dissection of an often-filmed story (The Jazz Singer), how being the product of a specific time and culture effects a remake (Robin Hood), and an inspection of popular mythology (Dracula). In their choice of essays, editors Horton and McDougal have stretched the common definition of movie remake almost beyond usefulness. They include in this category not only films that are new versions of movies previously made but also adaptations from other media; movies that allude in a single shot, camera angle, motif, or line to an earlier film; and makeovers, which they define as a film that substantially alters the original for its own purposes. Still, little serious has been written on the subject of movie remakes, recommending this for academic libraries and subject collections.AMarianne Cawley, Charleston Cty. Lib., S.C.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Play It Again, Sam is a timely investigation of a topic that until now has received almost no critical attention in film and cultural studies: the cinematic remake. As cinema enters its second century, more remakes are appearing than ever before, and these writers consider the full range: Hollywood films that have been recycled by Hollywood, such as The Jazz Singer, Cape Fear, and Robin Hood; foreign films including Breathless; and Three Men and a Baby, which Hollywood has reworked for American audiences; and foreign films based on American works, among them Yugoslav director Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies, which is a "makeover" of Coppola's Godfather films. As these essays demonstrate, films are remade by other films (Alfred Hitchcock went so far as to remake his own The Man Who Knew Too Much) and by other media as well.
The editors and contributors draw upon narrative, film, and cultural theories, and consider gender, genre, and psychological issues, presenting the "remake" as a special artistic form of repetition with a difference and as a commercial product aimed at profits in the marketplace. The remake flourishes at the crossroads of the old and the new, the known and the unknown. Play It Again, Sam takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of this hitherto unexplored territory.
About the Author
Andrew Horton is Professor of Film and Literature at the University of Oklahoma and Director of the Aegean Institute. He is author of the popular Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay (California, 1994) and other books. Stuart Y. McDougal is Director of the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His previous books include Made into Movies: From Literature to Film (1985).
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