Why DO remakes get made? Is it just another capitalist scam? Is it to show how times change but ultimately people are the same? It is like covering a song? Like the new director can hit some high notes that the other director couldn’t, or is like what it is to turn a fast and flashy dance track into a folkish alt country croon to highlight the raw emotion of the original? (I’m thinking about the Fast and the Furious right now, and even though I have never seen the Fast and the Furious I would probably see a folkish alt country version of the Fast and the Furious, knowing me) But anyway, that’s a terrible and useless example/ analogy, because movies don’t get made like that. The remake will almost always or just plain always cost way more to make than the original. No one ever does a lo-fi version of anything in the movies. Only in Be Kind, Rewind, but that wasn’t real life that was a movie.
So, in cheap real life, Heavy Movie Parking Lot went to see a 2011 remake of a 1981 film, Arthur, a film about a heavy-drinking, high-fun-having heir to a considerable fortune that only comes at the cost of love. It was OK. Not great, not terrible either. Let’s look at the costs:
2x tickets @ $18 each = $36 1x ipod for recording podcast = $79 Give or take a few bucks for candy bar treats (I’m not going to make a joke about how expensive candy bar food is, just in case you were expecting that, we’re just going to skip it), all in all this podcast cost about $120. Which, to me, seems like a high budget for a lo-fi podcast. Is it? Either way, there’s a lot to enjoy in this edition, like when I lay into Tristan for always describing lady actors as “the lovely/ fetching/ gorgeous ______” even though I actually refer to Greta Gerwig as a “babe” way before Tristan says anything. Hypocrisy! Like this podcast, it’s free.
SO. Remakes. Probably just another capitalist scam. But maybe try to find some enjoyment in them anyway?
Going to see a movie like Greenberg, The Squid and the Whale or Margot at the Wedding I feel it should be mandatory to have a copy of Dealing With Difficult People or I’m OK, You’re OK with you. Generally speaking the protagonists in Baumbach’s films are difficult people to the max. And this in itself is what makes watching a Baumbach film both difficult and, I think, rewarding. The extent to which we, if we try (or don’t try) hard enough, can be complete arseholes to one another is always something worth being reminded of. But what one is also reminded of, especially in Greenberg, is the extent of human patience and compassion when faced with unthinking and arsehole-ish kinds of people. And this is infinitely worthwhile. We can be arseholes to each other, but we also have strange and deep stores of kindness and love, the kinds of kindness and love that see past people’s foibles, however frustrating or damaging they might be, to accept people as people, bumbling along, doing their best, however shitty or great that may be. Soooooo, after a history of being uncomfortable with Baumbach’s films (and, perhaps, certain aspects of ourselves, whoa, I know) Heavy Movie Parking Lot discusses Greenberg and Baumbach and how to bumble along and maybe become better people. Or at least more aware people. More aware of movies, mostly, but hey. Movies are pretty helpful things. And to be honest, I would put down the self help books and watch a Baumbach movie any day. Far more rewarding. Plus a better soundtrack.