By Carolyn A. Durham
In the past decade or extra the yank remake has more and more characterised Hollywood's dating with the French cinema, as movies starting from classics like A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) to modern comedies like Trois Hommes et un Couffin (Three males and a child) and los angeles Cage aux Folles (Birdcage) are tailored for US monitors. during this comparative, interdisciplinary examine Carolyn Durham indicates how the remake phenomenon finds outstanding modifications not only in movie conception but in addition epitomizes greater problems with pageant, political and monetary tensions, and social, gender, and aesthetic constructs. Durham establishes the metaphor of Euro Disney, which American traders anticipated because the critical transcultural leisure yet many French denounced as "a cultural Chernobyl," after which applies it to an in depth research of the flicks, exhibiting how major alterations among unique and remake extra our realizing of nationwide id in either international locations. France's trust in its personal cultural superiority, she writes, ends up in a perceived accountability to "disseminate French tradition world wide within the guise of civilisation itself," an perspective that clashes with Hollywood's filmmaking hegemony and its "openness to new rules, together with the foreign." whereas the primary hindrance is the that means of cross-cultural transformations, this attractive and incisive publication additionally outlines an ongoing conflict among a kingdom confident of its aesthetic and cultural patrimony and an American pushed by way of its personal experience of worldwide future.
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Extra resources for Double Takes: Culture and Gender in French Films and Their American Remakes (Contemporary French Culture and Society)
6 The United States, which has its own sense of global destinyone that, thanks to Hollywood, now includes culture in its once primarily political and economic outreachholds unchallengeable sway over the international film market, and yet claims, in its turn, to be the target of "inexcusable discrimination" as a result of France's state-supported system of quotas and subsidies (Valenti). Moreover, even as Hollywood diffuses its images throughout the world, some of them unquestionably point to a startling lack of originality and creative talent within the American movie industry, of which the current obsession with remaking French films is only one of many examples.
Just as France and America have served each other as definitional others, so has this cross-cultural interest been reflected in the lives and work of particular individuals. Indeed, the example of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose Democracy in America inaugurated a tradition of French Americanists, continues to haunt his successors, most recently, Hervé Varenne in Americans Together (1977). The American equivalent, though less specific and personal in its many incarnations, is no less powerful. " Robert Daly's Portraits of France (1991), Richard Bernstein's Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the French (1990), Theodore Zeldin's The French (1983), and James Corbett's Through French Windows: An Introduction to France in the Nineties (1994) are all the work of American or, in the case of Zeldin, British observers of a foreign culture.
One wonders, in that case, what precisely they are, since they somehow seem to be "not French" without necessarily remainingor becomingAmerican either. Paradoxically, while Hollywood remakes are condemned for their inferiority toand thus, for their difference fromthe French films on which they are modeled, they are simultaneously accused of not being different enough. This judgment is implicit in Molly Haskell's widely shared attribution of the "remake craze" itself to Hollywood's "poverty of ideas" (Young 17).
Double Takes: Culture and Gender in French Films and Their American Remakes (Contemporary French Culture and Society) by Carolyn A. Durham