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Cross-cultural remakes

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3eyes
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Cross-cultural remakes

#1

Post by 3eyes » January 21st, 2020, 5:16 pm

I admit that I have a strong prejudice against Hollywood remakes of foreign-language movies. There are good ones, of course, but mostly it feels like stale evidence of Hollywood's lack of ideas.

However, I have seen some fascinating crosscultural reinterpretations of films from other countries. Some that stand out for me are:

Al-mufattish al-amm (Egypt, 1956) - Gogol's Revizor /The inspector-general (USSR 1952)
Quella sporca storia nel west / Johnny Hamlet (Italy 68, 91m) - Hamlet as a spaghetti Western
König Hamlet) - (Ger 1921) - Hamlet was a woman
Pari (Iran 1995) - Salinger: Franny and Zooey
Sara (Iran 1993) - Ibsen: Dukkehjem / A doll's house
Planetata na sakrovishtata (Bulgaria 1982) - animated sci-fi Treasure Island (20 years before Treasure planet)
Oslo, 31. august (Norway 2011) - Le feu follet / The fire within (France 1963) - impressive 21st-cent update
[Xhosa version of Bizet's Carmen which I can't find]

additions, comments?
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#2

Post by albajos » January 21st, 2020, 5:44 pm

I haven't seen the original but Kule kidz gråter ikke (Norway, 2014) is a remake of Achtste-groepers huilen niet (Netherlands, 2012) - but Norway and the Netherlands is pretty similar in culture though

3 Idiots (Indian, 2009) — Nanban (Sri Lankan, 2012) — 3 Idiotas (Mexican, 2017). Based on the novel Five Point Someone

Er ist wieder da (Germany, 2015) --- Sono tornato (Italy, 2018) Based on the book, but they switched out Hitler with Mussolini

Perfetti sconosciuti (2016) has already been remade 18 times (Greece, Spain, Turkey, France, Poland, South Korea, China, India, Mexico, Germany and Hungary etc)

And of course Leone's "updates" to Kurosawa's movies

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#3

Post by Ivan0716 » January 21st, 2020, 6:48 pm

Since you're including books and plays:

Le Notti Bianche (1957) - Italian adaptation of Dostoevsky's White Nights, easily my favourite version of the story.
Un colpo di pistola (1942) - Italian adaptation of Pushkin's short story The Shot.
Rakkauden risti (1946) - Finnish remake of the German film Der Postmeister (1940), which itself is based on Pushkin's The Stationmaster.
Sveto mesto (1990) - loose Serbian adaptation of Gogol's Viy.
La notte dei diavoli (1972) - Italian adaptation of A.K. Tolstoy's The Family of the Vourdalak, one of the stories in Mario Bava's Black Sabbath (1963) is also based on it.
Szenvedély (1998), Ossessione (1943), Jerichow (2008) - Hungarian, Italian and (loose)German adaptations of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Desyat negrityat (1987) - Russian adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
Korol Lir (1970) - Russian King Lear.
Gamlet (1964) - Russian Hamlet.
Forgotten Pistolero (1969) - Spaghetti Western Oreste.
Killer Constable (1980) - not really a direct remake/adaptation of anything, but this is pretty much a Chinese Spaghetti Western with swords.

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#4

Post by OldAle1 » January 21st, 2020, 7:14 pm

Naghib Mahfouz' 1947 novel, usually translated as "Midaq Alley" in English, has been made into at least two Egyptian films - I've seen the first, 1955's Darb al-mahabil - and a somewhat more widely known Mexican production, 1995's El Callejón de los Milagros starring Salma Hayek, which I saw when new. Dim memory suggests that the Mexican film is better, but perhaps mostly because with an extra hour in running time and less censorship it was able to get at more of the novel's apparently broad canvas of social life. I have the book also ... someday.

I read Sadegh Hedayat's "The Blind Owl" late last year; it's been adapted several times in Iran, including the 1975 Boof-e koor which both sol- and I watched last year in the Iranian challenge, but it was also done in French by Raoul Ruiz as La chouette aveugle in 1987.

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#5

Post by blocho » January 21st, 2020, 7:31 pm

Ivan0716 wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 6:48 pm
Desyat negrityat (1987) - Russian adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
Been on my watchlist for years. Anyone have a copy?

My only problem with remakes is when they don't try anything new. If they try something different and fall flat, that's understandable. But if it's the exact same movie only with different actors and a different language, then there isn't much point (other than to make money, of course).

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#6

Post by albajos » January 21st, 2020, 7:37 pm

blocho wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:31 pm
then there isn't much point
The norwegian / netherlands movies are for children, and since we don't dub live action a remake was the only option to tell the story so that it would be available to them.

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#7

Post by blocho » January 21st, 2020, 7:40 pm

albajos wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:37 pm
blocho wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 7:31 pm
then there isn't much point
The norwegian / netherlands movies are for children, and since we don't dub live action a remake was the only option to tell the story so that it would be available to them.
Hadn't thought of that. Makes sense.

I wonder if that's why Haneke did a Funny Games remake. So he could give english-speaking children too young to read a way to see his movie. :D

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#8

Post by 3eyes » January 21st, 2020, 8:28 pm

Many of these movies do add something new in terms of cultural reinterpretation, or showing the relevance of an earlier work to a different time & place
(Ibsen's Doll House for Iran), 12 (2007) - Russian remake of 12 Angry Men, many of the others mentioned so far.

I'm sure that some of those American remakes that I won't watch because they Americanize are quite respectable efforts to make them relevant to an American audience. For example, Traffic (US 2000) -- which I didn't watch despite the urgings of Friends, but I did watch the UK miniseries Traffik (1989) which concerns the drug trade in Europe and india. I suppose it would have been instructive to compare the two, but then.

And of course the universality of Shakespeare and other world classics - Ancient Greek literature, Don Quixote, etc - transcends cultural boundaries.
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#9

Post by RBG » January 21st, 2020, 10:29 pm

i really like taghvai's persian 'to have and have not,' nakhoda khorshid https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0122186/

watched zeki's yeralti, a turkish 'notes from underground' this week, beautifully shot https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1961675/

and there's this much-praised hindi 'hamlet,' from 2014 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3390572/

the russian sherlock holmes movies are supposed to be quite good tho i haven't watched them!
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#10

Post by matthewscott8 » January 24th, 2020, 4:54 pm

William Friedkin's remake of Wages of Fear, Sorcerer is a real doozy, although I do not believe he needed to add in the backstories of all the characters at the start of the movie.

Also I actually thought Soderbergh brought a lot to the Solaris story, presenting it in a pretty different and interesting way, though it would be almost heretical for me to claim its superiority to Tarkovsky's.

Avoiding controversy over what the word remake is, because I don't really care hehe (some people say that a remake has to be very consciously a remake, and not just someone using the same original literary source).

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#11

Post by 3eyes » January 24th, 2020, 7:35 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:Avoiding controversy over what the word remake is, because I don't really care hehe (some people say that a remake has to be very consciously a remake, and not just someone using the same original literary source).
Granted. I was so caught up in the crosscultural angle that I didn't think about that. Most of the examples in my first post were literary adaptations, though I suspect the Egyptian Revizor was based on the Soviet movie.
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#12

Post by Mario Gaborović » January 25th, 2020, 2:59 pm

3eyes wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 5:16 pm
[Xhosa version of Bizet's Carmen which I can't find]

additions, comments?
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0445776/

And there's a Bollywood version of Misery:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0353590/

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#13

Post by OldAle1 » January 25th, 2020, 4:05 pm

Continuing with Carmen...

Grace Chang's incendiary performance is certainly the main highlight, but not the only one, from the 1960 Hong Kong The Wild, Wild Rose

and there's another African version, with Djeïnaba Diop Gaï as an overtly bisexual version of the tragic heroine, in the 2001 Senegalese Karmen Geï, in French and Wolof.

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#14

Post by albajos » January 25th, 2020, 7:34 pm

Romeo and Juliet became West Side story
great del of cultural differences in 350 years, and a different continent

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