Six Damn Fine Degrees #47: Cinematic cover versions

Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!

I think that most remakes and reboots are uninteresting at best and creatively bankrupt at worst. They bring little to the table other than the desperate appeal to name recognition: remember when you liked this ten, twenty years ago, or when it had subtitles?

But here’s a confession: no, I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with remakes – and, more importantly, I don’t think that they’re more of a symptom of the lack of originality of present-day cinema than, well, so many other films that don’t have the same name as an earlier film or TV series. And I think that many of the people who decry this lack of originality have a fundamentally naive understanding of what originality is. More than that, I think there’s a frequent misunderstanding of what a remake at its best is. Or, to put it in controversial terms (I should be doing this on Twitter!): I think there’s more of a point in remaking a good film than a bad one.

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Bloody. Unpleasant. Hateful?

I used to be a big Tarantino fan. In fact, I’d still consider myself one; I can still remember the exhilaration I felt after first seeing Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (both parts) or Inglourious Basterds, and they still feel fresh and exciting to me now. Even Death Proof, which many of his fans were, let’s say, ambivalent about: the film puts a big goofy grin on my face.

The Hateful Eight Continue reading