Thursday, October 8, 2009

Le Samourai Remake??? Please No!

What the hell is going on here??? /film reports that John Woo wants to remake Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï. My response is simply NO. Stop this nonsense. Think of something else.

For those of you who don't know, Le Samouraï (1967) is a film starring Alain Delon, in one of his most memorable roles, as a contract killer with the distinction and poise of a samurai warrior. I own this on criterion and its one of my favorites. Criterion describes the film quite perfectly as: "A razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture..." It's too plain to say but this film is just cool. It's just too perfectly cool. Alain Delon defines a history of assassins on film in this feature and does so in a performance met by no other. And despite the comment below the film is gorgeous, subtle, simple, but gorgeous, without even trying, which makes it brilliant.

Let me give you some words from the director himself. Melville said about Le Samouraï: “I don’t want to situate my heroes in time; I don’t want the action of a film to be recognizable as something that happens in 1968. That’s why in Le samouraï, for example, the women aren’t wearing miniskirts, while the men are wearing hats—something, unfortunately, that no one does anymore. I’m not interested in realism. All my films hinge on the fantastic. I’m not a documentarian; a film is first and foremost a dream, and it’s absurd to copy life in an attempt to produce an exact re-creation of it. Transposition is more or less a reflex with me: I move from realism to fantasy without the spectator ever noticing.”

Now please tell me how Mr. Woo plans on achieving anything quite like this? Has he seen his own films? I think not. Either way I urge seasoned filmmakers to take the time to sit down, read something, or maybe even just stare at some nature, but please don't make films you cannot live up to. Let's leave em where they stood. You want to honor it and bring it to the new generation? Fine. But do it in another fashion. Re-release, or do a lil party to commemorate. You want it to inspire your work? Fine. Let it, enjoy, nothing is truly authentic anymore. But please don't think that you can take on the task of remaking something that cannot ever be duplicated. Don't do it. I hope this never transpires.

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