The Coen brothers' True Grit starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon may be regarded as a variant on Henry Hathaway's True Grit starring John Wayne and Glen Campbell, but as far as I'm concerned it is something much more than a remake. So just what is it that distinguishes a fine new retelling of a forty-year-old Western from a mindless American remake of a Swedish vampire movie, say?

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  • Comment number 136. Posted by I_am_I

    on 13 Jun 2011 20:47

    One thing I hate about remakes (I love the word 'reimagining') is that all too often when you try to buy the original on DVD, you are instead confronted by the modern, crappy remakes on the shelves; the originals are nowhere to be seen, unless you look really hard. It's the same on digital TV: I've lost count of the number of times Film4 have showed the remake of FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, yet they hardly ever show the Jimmy Stewart original. Why should we be forced to settle for cheap rip-offs, and not the real thing? That's what a remake is, to me.

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  • Comment number 135. Posted by krys

    on 9 Jun 2011 16:33

    HEY ALL, Im Krys a student from Ravensbourne and im researching for my dissertation which is about how with the ever growing tech for cinema will we ever see the end off the same film being resurrected. I will soon be organising a debate event night about remade film, why do some people love em, and why some people hate em.. if this is something your interested in and are willing to attend or help out in some way please dont hesitate to contact me. krysgreeninc@gmail.com. ive also set up a forum :) http://forums.com/user/myforum/is87x5zq39a9x5gk

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  • Comment number 134. Posted by DJM

    on 14 Feb 2011 23:09

    "So just what is it that distinguishes a fine new retelling of a forty-year-old Western from a mindless American remake of a Swedish vampire movie, say?"
    In this case nothing, as having recently watched the True Grit remake, there is as much difference between Let the Right One In and Let Me In as there is between the 1969 version of True Grit and the 2011 version of True Grit. Both remakes have slight differences compared to the original films (yet are still pretty much the same film in the end) and both are apparently adaptations of the source material rather than plain remakes of the the original movies.
    In the end, neither Let Me In or True Grit 2011 really needed to be made and neither really did much more with the source material compared to the original movies, yet I still liked both of them.

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  • Comment number 133. Posted by Diarmaid Hanly

    on 13 Feb 2011 01:34

    After just seeing True Grit I think the only answer is a simple one:

    When it's good.

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  • Comment number 132. Posted by Mr Smith

    on 10 Feb 2011 14:12

    *'easier' than making something original, or reinterpretating!

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  • Comment number 131. Posted by Mr Smith

    on 10 Feb 2011 14:11

    A remake is just plain lazyness or an 'easier' way to make cash when it comes to films I say!

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  • Comment number 130. Posted by Rosko

    on 8 Feb 2011 09:54

    There has to be a significant difference, quite simply. Timing can allow this through technological advances and cinematic possibilities - e.g. HP Lovecraft interpretations over the years. If the story is universal enough of course it can be applied to topical situations e.g. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, reimagined as Apocalypse Now, but just as powerful - which allowed Tim Roth and John Malkovich to do a more literal interpretation in 1993 without fear of comparison.

    It becomes more difficult as creative limits are removed though - it will be more difficult for someone in 2013 to remake The Sixth Sense than for Francis Ford Coppolla to do another Bram Stoker interpretation 14 years after Herzog's 1979 version.

    The only real universal rule is that we must not be sitting watching the latest version thinking of scenes from the original the whole way through. Additions and Subtractions must be significant enough to make us forget what we are watching and allow us to become consumed by the story rather than an irritating comparison... step up, Let Me In.

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  • Comment number 129. Posted by johnnyyen

    on 7 Feb 2011 15:17

    I go for the remake and reinterpretation options. Gus Van Sandt compared his version of "Psycho" to a cover version in music. He went for a straight, shot by shot cover version, therefore he remade the film. A reinterpretation would be the equivalent of a film loosely based on the original, taking the basic narrative, and turning it into something new, just as The Flying Lizards did in music when they reimagined Eddie Cochrane's [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9CRGKYXjCA"]Summertime Blues[/URL] and produced a minimalist, electronic version of a rock and roll standard.

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  • Comment number 128. Posted by Lisa G

    on 3 Feb 2011 14:53

    I think it's the intention of the film maker that is the key. If the aim is to adapt a film in order for it to appeal to a different, perhaps wider, audience (eg. viewers who won't go see a subtitled film), then it is a remake. If the aim is to explore the central themes of a film in a different way, possibly for the same type of audience, then it is a reinterpretation.

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  • Comment number 127. Posted by Paul Richard Scott

    on 3 Feb 2011 11:12

    Remake or Reinterpretation? I don't really care. I've seen the trailers and it looks to be a good film (would John Wayne please stop drawling "The hell it is..." in my ear).
    I'm in the 'it doesn't matter that much if it adds something new' camp and from what I've seen, there is a little more to it than the original film, unlike 'Let Me In', which Hammer made simply to satisfy the hard of thinking that are too lazy to read subtitles in a movie.
    It was a scene by scene steal of the original and lacked all the suspense, charm and interest.
    No doubt 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' will be much the same...remade simply for the hard of thinking and nowhere near as good as the original.
    Daniel Craig as Blomquist?
    Err...No, Not going to work at all.

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