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Psycho Remake

Bitter Cinema posts a defense of Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, which as we all know was attacked before, during, and after production, first for its pointlessness and then for its shittiness. (And also for its sacrelige at fucking with Hitchcock.) Defenders say the remake is a metacommentary on the original. Slippery…

But while I’m definitely not a fan of the film, I’m also not offended by the remake, nor am I terribly horrified by his desire to remake it. Sometimes if I am deeply affected by someone’s poem or some other piece of writing, I’ll write it out longhand, just to get inside it, to feel what it’s like to write those words from my own hand. I have a feeling that, deep down, this is at the base of Van Sant’s remake–to get inside those famous shots. And I can’t question that motive at all. It’s just that in film, such an egocentric exercise costs millions of dollars and is done in the public eye, rather than costing $.89 for a paper-mate pen and a sheet of paper. It would be like me trying to publish my scribblings on notepaper of someone else’s poems. Now there’s a book idea–a collection of other people’s poems I love, written in my handwriting. Well, maybe not mine. But if Billy Collins wrote out longhand a bunch of other people’s poems he loved and published it, do you think people would buy it? Of course. And would they say it was stupid? Of course.

2 Responses to “Psycho Remake”

  1. hugh macleod
    April 9th, 2004 | 1:43 pm

    why did he spend millions of dollars instead of 89 cents? because he could.

  2. cynthia rockwell
    April 9th, 2004 | 3:45 pm

    indeed. and if i could publish and mass-market a book of my handwritten copies of other people’s poems, i would.