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It's All in the Milieu - Essay Example

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Your Name Prof’s Name Date It’s All in the Milieu: Incredibly Accurate Remakes that Fail or Flop Based on the Culture that Surrounds Them. Film and literature have been close bedfellows for decades: there is a long history of books being made into movies, which has only accelerated in recent years…
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Its All in the Milieu
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Download file to see previous pages In most of these cases major changes are made to the text to render it into film in the first place, and then when a second film adaptation is made. The Lord of the Rings, for instance, left entire sequences of the film out, such as the adventure to Tom Bombadil, drastically changed the age of the characters (reducing Frodo’s age from 50 to 30), changed their motivations (having Faromir fall the same way Boromir did) and so on (Tolkein 1955). These changes are made for a number of reasons, including needing to cut down from a novel to a film, to create suspense, or so on. Rarely, however, a book can so readily be made into a film, that these changes are unneccsary. Such was the case with Psycho, its Alfred Hitchcock adaption, and the remake of that film Psycho (1968). While most elements of these three works were nearly identical they are perceived very differently: Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho is hailed as a masterpiece, while the 1998 remake has been widely panned. This demonstrates that each story must exist in its time and its place, and something removed from its milieu will be entire unsuccessful. The plot of all three works is largely identical. In each case, a woman, Marion, steals a large sum of money, finds herself at a lonely hotel, and is then murdered by a mysterious character – ostensibly the proprietors mother (Bloch 1959, Hitchcock 1960, Van Sant 1998). When the woman’s family gets worried, they go looking for her, hiring a detective to discover what happened to her. This detective gets murdered by the same figure (Bloch 1959, Hitchcock 1960, Van Sant 1998), with the hotel proprietor still covering up his mother’s actions. The family then investigates for themselves, eventually finds the mother is in fact the son’s delusion, as his mother died in a murder-suicide years before, and that the proprietor, Bates, has been living in a codependent relationship with his dead mother ever since (Bloch 1959, Hitchcock 1960, Van Sant 1998). This novel did not have to be adapted significantly for the screen: the only major changes made were the methods of killing, with the decapitation of the novel usually being replaced by a stabbing off screen in the film versions, which presumably would add to the horror but reduce the gore, which can be much more impactful on screen, and would detract from the psychological nature of the story (Bloch 1959, Hitchcock 1960, Van Sant 1998). That the novel is close to the film versions is not surprising – close remakes can often be accomplished in the case of short novels and excellent film-makers, such as with Jurassic Park, (or, indeed, many other Michael Crichton novels). What is surprising, however, is that the two films were so similar – the 1998 film was virtually a shot-for-shot remake of the 1960 film. They both used the same screenplay by Joseph Stefano (IMDB 2012a), and thus were identical in terms of words, but Van Sant also mirrored almost every camera motion that Hitchcock made. The only differences came in a small number of shots: the opening shot of the Hitchcock film, for instance, was a long zoom that had many fades separating individual zoom sequences, while the Van Sant film was a single long zoom: this was changed because Hitchcock’s original desire was to have a single long shot, but this was not possible based on technology of the time, while in 1998 it had become possible ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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