Postmodernism, Indie Media, and Popular Culture: The Updated, Expanded Digital Edition

Chapter 9


    Remake is like a replication or copy of an original form.  Parodies are considered remake.  Examples of remake can be found in art, music, literature, and film.  Remakes can be produced through mediums, historical stories, parody conventions, animation, etc. The textbook states that “in Postmodernism, there is an acknowledgment that we can only know the past through the fragments of its remnants” (Sturken & Cartwright, 2009).  When it comes to remake and copying, there exists an original to compare the work to. Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about remakes is the change in the audience's associations.   People have feelings and emotions that are connected with the original event or work.  When remade, those connections may be insulted, misconstrued, altered, or exaggerated. 
    For example, the 1984 film Ghostbusters (Fig. 1.1 ), was remade.  The film was remade with an all-female cast in 2016 (Fig. 1.2).  The film did well, but the expectation for the remake was higher.  Like any film critique, there was both positive and negative feedback (Kitchener, 2017).  When remaking films or anything for that matter, the risk of controversy is greater.  In the remake of the Ghostbusters had two major topics of discussion (Fig. 1.3) .  The all-female cast was a dramatic change to the series.  There was also controversy about the possible racial dilemma.  The memories people held with the original Ghostbusters film is being tainted by the new remake of the film.  Like it had been discussed with parody, remakes are a resemblance of the past.  In some cases like this film, the current remake does not do the original justice.
      Films are constantly critiqued.  A New York Times article describes the negative connotation with the phrase “reboot”.  The article claims the phrase “reboot” is simply a remake, and that was not the intention of many Hollywood producers, for instance in the new “Vacation” movie.  Producers did not want to the association the film with the concept of a remake.  Instead, words like revisit, reimagining, and rebirth were words they wanted to hear in regards to their film (Kepler, 2015).   
     An example of postmodern remake through physical art is work of Jeff Wall. Wall takes historic and famous pieces and remakes them.  His remake can be considered inspired by the famous work.  In his piece The Thinker, 1996 ( ) he recalls on the famous Rodin statues, Thinker (Fig. 1.5).  Wall is a well-known photographer, which is a different approach to many of the works he remakes.   An article describes the concept of history within many of Wall’s works.  The article further describes how in some of Wall’s remaking, he changes the conflict within an image (Schwabsky, 2015). Work like Wall’s exemplifies how a remake can express a glimpse of the past, but simultaneously change the discussion around the image of history.

This page has paths:

This page references: