Playlist: Mashup and reworked movies
- Eddie Harrison
- 18 September 2008
Not enjoying the films you’re watching? Why not just re-cut them to reflect your own sick tastes? Reworking or ‘mashing-up’ classic films is a popular internet sport. Millions have already seen how much cuter The Shining’s father-son dynamic would look if Cameron Crowe gave it the Jerry Maguire touch (tinyurl.com/2wd95k). It’s a test of an editor’s ingenuity to use the same material to alter a film’s genre. Check out how by putting the romance between Robert De Niro and Cybil Shepherd at the centre of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, (tinyurl.com/673yqb) a romcom is born.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A good re-cut can help us find a different meaning in the original film. Nannies are pretty creepy, so why not add a horror slant to re-imagine Julie Andrews as Scary Poppins (tinyurl.com/6397ch)? Robin Williams’ latex mask in Mrs Doubtfire is just as disturbing (tinyurl.com/5wz7wo). And the same fear of home invasion turns Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle into something rather darker (tiny.cc/NmHWY).
Got the idea? Then see how the sexual machismo of the language in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross works well as serious drama, but also lends itself surprisingly smoothly to a low-brow comedy about four aging gigolos (tiny.cc/dHMdY). And equally, when the homoerotic subtext of Top Gun becomes central, Tony Scott’s film works much better (tiny.cc/Vw3jz).
Trailer re-cuts are a modern phenomenon that could be dismissed as a few film fans with too much time on their hands. But it also suggests that new technologies allow us to mould and adapt classic texts – how long will it be before a feature is remade in a different genre? Or to put it another way, how long will it be before someone actually makes a full-length entertainment from a popular mash-up like Brokeback to the Future (tinyurl.com/6397ch)?