By Eduard Cuelenaere, Stijn Joye & Gertjan Willems
”Whatever the case, while some remakes are demonstrably failures, others are undeniably superb, and almost all interesting for what they reveal, either about different cultures, about different directorial styles and aesthetic orientations, about class or gender perceptions, about different social-historical periods and changing audience expectations, about the dynamics of the genre film, or simply about the evolution of economic practices in the industry.”
– Forrest & Koos1
Since the turn of the millennium, film production in the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands) has witnessed the rise of a remarkable trend: Popular Dutch films are being remade in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking, northern region of Belgium), and popular Flemish films are being remade in the Netherlands. Because both regions, together including only 23 million inhabitants, share the same official language (Dutch, with some differences in accent and vocabulary), the Dutch-Flemish monolingual remake phenomenon appears to be highly exceptional. Moreover, these remakes are temporally immediate and geographically adjoining. In combination with the shared language, this makes them unique and very uncommon in international film production; they are thus a particularly relevant case to study in the context of contesting and reframing existing discourses on the global remake practice. In this article, we will explore the theoretical and conceptual relevance of the Dutch-Flemish monolingual remake phenomenon for on-going debates in the field of remake studies.
Starting from this observation, the article explicitly rejects what we would call the ‘anti-remake debates’. This critical disdain for remakes can be divided into two periods, linked to two general discourses on remakes. First, there is the neoromantic ”belief in the auteur as a heroic, visionary, and idiosyncratic artist”2 which prevailed during the 1950s and 1960s and had great influence until at least the 1980s. This stance towards remakes coincided with the influential auteur theory, advanced by members of the Cahiers du cinéma, including André Bazin and François Truffaut, as well as other scholars and critics related to the Nouvelle Vague. The auteur theory states that directors, or auteurs, (must) express themselves in their films, i.e., their thoughts and feelings about a certain subject, or in broader terms their Weltanshauung. Accordingly, films that are original creative conceptions and reflections of a “genius auteur or artist” cannot, or should not, be remade. In this respect, if one chooses to remake a film, critics that are inclined to this discourse are apt to compare the remake to the original rather than judging the film an sich. As such, the issue of fidelity towards the original is central. Similar criticism has also plagued the field of adaptation studies, in which the comparison of, for example, a book and a film has always situated the film as the inferior work of art.3 However, beginning in the 1980s, a second discourse on the remake came to the fore, influenced by postmodern theories. These conceptualised the remake “as a privileged cultural articulation and simultaneously deconstructed the former cultural hierarchies by which they were degraded”.4 From then on, critics and scholars alike focused on remakes’ reflections of (national) cultural identities and attitudes, instead of directors’ visions or worldviews.
This evolution notwithstanding, a discourse of antipathy towards remakes remained prevalent, although now in terms of cultural domination or assimilation, often labelled as “Americanisation” because many European—most often French—movies were remade in Hollywood at that time. The notion of Americanisation reflected the anxiety about cultural globalisation, which matched strongly with a postromantic conception of film art.5 Today, these negative assertions about remakes are still significant and often articulated in public and scholarly discourse. However, when one distances oneself from this normative discourse towards the remake practice, the outcome of the discussion might be more fruitful than expected. Of course, we do not refute such criticisms, but we do argue that one should look beyond the economic incentives and the often perceived and/or presumed (artistic) inferiority of the remake.
Therefore, this article proposes a more nuanced reading of the remake practice. It is our goal to redefine or reframe the often normative discourse surrounding (global) remakes by evincing their overall elucidatory analytical capacities and theoretical relevance within (and beyond) media studies. A thorough examination of the Dutch-Flemish monolingual remake practice allows us to take a fresh look at some of the established concepts and theories within remake studies. Likewise, deconstructing the common understanding of the remake an sich provides useful insights.
In the first part of this article, we claim that the discourse on film remakes in general, and the non-commercial aura surrounding the European remake in particular, should be revisited and deconstructed. Next, our case of Dutch-Flemish monolingual remakes points at the possible explanatory power of the study of remakes when the normative perspective is abandoned. On that account, the Dutch-Flemish remake practice demonstrates an urge for a more nuanced and layered understanding of intercultural media practices, including the cultural proximity theory. Lastly, we ask ourselves how the directors of the monolingual remake practice perceive cultural identity and in what way these observations fit within existing scholarly debates on the remake.
The remake’s aura
The main incentive behind producing a remake is often said to be financial gain. Film is indeed a highly unpredictable and risky business without profit guarantees, in which remakes, with their pre-tested material, are seen as relatively ‘safe’ profit makers.6 This preference for pre-sold, canned projects is generally linked to Hollywood’s commercially driven film industry,7 which is in stark contrast with Europe’s more artistic stance on film (re)making. The latter viewpoint is strengthened by the so-called inability of Europe’s film industry to compete with Hollywood.8
The claim that remakes made in Europe are less commercially driven explains why critical debates on these films are generally less pejorative, or at least appear to be so. The underlying conceptualisation of European remakes not only (mistakenly) denies the possibility of a commercially motivated qualitative cinema but also indicates an inaccurate perception of reality.9 This is illustrated by the Dutch-Flemish remake phenomenon, of which all nine source films have been highly successful, both in terms of cinema admissions and in terms of financial gains. Moreover, all of them were produced or promoted as commercial (genre) films, targeted to a large audience. For instance, when the Flemish producer of the Dutch film remake Mannenharten (2013, de Cloe) talked about his movie in a Flemish newspaper, he quickly referred to its commercial success abroad: “The original story of the film originates from Germany, where ‘Männerherzen’ was a huge success in 2009. In the Netherlands, a Dutch version was made in 2013, ‘Mannenharten’, and it was also a commercial hit. To not confuse the audience, the title of the Flemish version was changed”.10 The commercial incentive behind the same-language remake practice is undeniable and—contrary to what is often claimed by scholars but similar to the Hollywood case—also negatively received. Indeed, after pointing out the monolingual remake practice, the Dutch critic Ekker concludes: “Commercial? Indeed. That’s how these things go”.11
However, by focusing too much on the financial aspect, one tends to forget that, as Forrest and Koos remind us, “cinema is both a business and a producer of art” and that the remake is “integral to an understanding of the relation between the two positions”.12 Walter Benjamin’s famous essay The work of art in the mechanical age of reproduction13 touches on the core of this debate surrounding the commercialisation of art, while also discussing the importance of originality and faithfulness towards the initial (master’s) work. Arnzen states that remakes “particularly those rare ones which revive what popular critics term the ‘buried treasures’ of film history—both support and complicate Benjamin’s notion”.14 He adds that, although film itself is inherently a mechanical reproduction, the remake causes authentic fictions to lose their aura due to the process of reproducing the narrative. Moreover, Arnzen argues that these remakes do reify the aura of the original, but only for the sake of profit. At the same time, the “reliance on overdetermined narrative codes” also makes the narrative of the original implode, “asserting that narrative itself is a plural process of repetition and reproduction across time”.15 However, according to Ginsburgh, Pestiau and Weyers,16 Benjamin’s assertion that technically reproducing works of art degrades or even destroys the aura of the original does not appear to be valid when applied to remakes:17 “copies do not destroy the aura of the original, but contribute to its value”.18 The latter assumption can be linked to one of Leitch’s four categories of the remake: the homage.19 This type of remake accepts the authority or prestigious status of the original and tries to reveal and valorise it in a well-intended manner. Often, directors of this kind of remake want the original movie to be remembered and commemorated through the remaking. The important difference here is that Leitch suggests that this idea of a remake contributing to the original is only one form or manifestation of the remake practice, whereas Ginsburg et al. claim that this idea is valid for all remakes. Leitch also states that “remakes typically invoke the aura of their originals rather than their memory”.20 By this, he demonstrates that producers do not want the original per se to be remembered by the audience (memory); then, the two movies may have to compete with each other. Instead, they want to invoke an immaterial atmosphere that seems to emanate from the original (aura).
The assertion that remakes always contribute positively to the value of the original seems to imply that remakes testify to the importance or relevance of the original film, which might be correct to a certain degree. However, this principle is only applicable to a certain type of remake (i.e., remakes of canonical films), as was already pointed out by Leitch. It could, however, also be the other way around (see Figure 1), as one of the many negative comments on the trailer of the Point Break (2015, Core) remake remarked: “You are about to create a horrible remake and worse yet, give the original movie a bad name”.21 This is similar to what Braudy claims when talking about rethinking the concept of the remake: “the remade film is less frequently an homage or revival than an effort to supplant its predecessor entirely”.22
Figure 1: Illustrative examples of YouTube users’ reactions to the Point Break (2015) trailer
Benjamin’s thesis further postulates that through reproduction, an essential bundle of elements (of the original) is appropriated due to changes in the films’ inherent context. Therefore, the original “disappears, leaving behind a ghostly afterlife of manipulated intertextual signs”.23
As Arnzen already mentioned, film itself is intrinsically mechanically reproduced, which by definition means that there is no original to be found, nor is there an inherent aura connected to it. Nevertheless, what he fails to mention is that this is where the beholder, or the audience, comes into play, attaching (contextual) meaning to the movie. Hence, the aura is subjectively and socially constructed. In this way, a film sometimes attains the status of a ‘cult movie’, and this status or nature of cult movies can subsequently be altered when being remade. However, when the majority of an audience is not even aware of the existence of the original, how can its aura be (positively) altered because of a remake? This is the case for the Flemish/Dutch monolingual remake, given that the original film generally did not receive any public attention across the border, nor was the existence of an original acknowledged in the promotional campaigns surrounding the remakes, nor did the directors of the remake take into account the possibility that part of the audience would be aware of the original. These matters apply to Hollywood remakes of non-American films as well, which confirms the assumption that, contrary to what is frequently suggested, European and American remake practices have more in common than generally assumed.
It appears that Hollywood is very aware of the pejorative connotation of the remake label, as is illustrated by a remarkable shift in recent communication strategies. As film writer Ben Child24 claims, the term ‘remake’ itself, alongside the kin term ‘reboot’, seems to have become a dirty word in Hollywood. American studios reacted to the negative aura of the remake practice by promoting the films using different language: “For the record, we are NOT making a reboot, but rather a continuation of the awesome JUMANJI story”,25 as leading actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson wrote on his Instagram profile (see Figure 2) when talking about his upcoming film Jumanji (2017, Kasdan).
Figure 2: Dwayne Johnson posting about the film remake Jumanji (2017) on his Instagram profile
Moreover, an interview with the producer of Terminator: Genisys (2015, Taylor) illustrates that Johnson was certainly not the first to promote his film as not being a reboot or remake: “I think what’s important to remember when thinking about this movie is that it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a remake”.26 Other examples of this apparently new ‘non-remake strategy’ are even more explicit, as the director of The Amazing Spider-Man (2012, Webb) states that it is “really important for us to be able to communicate that this isn’t a remake of Sam Raimi’s movie. There’s a new territory, there’s a new villain, it’s a different Peter Parker”.27 This differs significantly from what we read in older scholarly accounts (2006) on the remake practice, claiming exactly the opposite: “Several marketing executives emphasise the high marketability of artistic imitation. Terry Press, the then marketing chief of DreamWorks, for instance wrote about promoting sequels: ’When you have a title people recognise, part of your battle is already won’”.28 It thus seems that the negative aura of the remake phenomenon quite recently triggered an awareness in contemporary Hollywood, whereby the promotion and communication strategy of a movie is increasingly focused on communicating the non-remake status of the film.
Remakes’ explanatory power
Remakes are often understood ”to be worth ’less than‘ those texts that stand alone, a model of art appreciation borrowed, to film studies’ and television studies’ detriment, from the world of fine art and the valorization of ‘aura’”.29 Drawing on our case of the Dutch-Flemish remake phenomenon, we prefer a more nuanced, intertextual reading of the remake practice to a focus on the possible decay of a so-called aura of the original work of art due to remakes, which almost directly implies adopting a normative way of looking at remakes. This echoes Leitch’s claim about the triangular intertextual relationship that differentiates film remakes from other movies. Accordingly, what defines remakes is a liaison that they “establish among themselves, the original film they remake, and the property on which both films are based”.30 We support this claim, but only to a certain degree. As many other scholars31 have already suggested, such a relationship wrongfully requires that remakes are inevitably made on the basis of a non-cinematic source, which is somewhere to be found in the intertextual chain. By consequence, remakes that are directly derived from films without previous non-filmic iterations are excluded. Additionally, as Herbert32 states, Leitch does maintain a, though rhetorical, distinction between ‘original’ and ‘copy’, which actually reinforces the hierarchy he tries to avoid. Although Leitch certainly makes some strong points and is one of the first scholars to do so, we would like to take this discussion a step further.
In what Baudrillard calls the ”postmodern age of cinema”,33 remakes are omnipresent and symptomatic, as illustrated by our object of study and the emerging trend of Dutch-Flemish remakes. Herbert argues that “every text is an unoriginal intertext, including the ‘original’ texts from which adaptations and remakes purport to derive”.34 The aforementioned (rather pessimistic) arguments tend to revolve around a lack of originality, which, according to us, overlooks the fact that reinterpreting an existing story and readapting it to a new (geographical, linguistic, cultural) context does not exclude creativity and originality,35 but actually involves and incites a great deal of these qualities. Umberto Eco clarifies this eloquently in his essay on how to interpret serials (which include the retake, remake, series, saga, etc.):
“Much art has been and is repetitive. The concept of absolute originality is a contemporary one, born with Romanticism; classical art was in vast measure serial, and the ‘modern’ avant-garde (at the beginning of this century) challenged the romantic idea of ‘creation from nothingness,’ with its techniques of collage, mustachios on the Mona Lisa, art about art, and so on. The same type of repetitive procedure can produce either excellence or banality; it can put the addressees into conflict with themselves and with the intertextual tradition as a whole; thus it can provide them with easy consolations, projections, identifications”.36
Additionally, the earlier mentioned normative claims neglect the fact that remakes are relevant cultural artefacts for what they disclose, either about cultures, divergent director’s styles and aesthetic directions, class or gender viewpoints, different social-historical times, altering audiences and their expectations, the dynamism of the genre film or the changing economical practices in the media industry.37 Moreover, the film remake practice is not a recent phenomenon; it has a long history across and within different continents and nations, even going back to the earliest days of cinema.38 Thus, because remakes are a fundamental property of (the history of) cinema, and because films can unveil a lot about the cultural circumstances in which they are produced,39 remakes might disclose more than just a specific filmic trend. Of course, one can only claim this when keeping in mind that ”any relation of a text to its social context is complex, mediated and decentred”.40
In this respect, we believe the concept of cultural proximity to be strongly connected to, and elucidatory for, remakes in general and the Dutch-Flemish remake phenomenon in particular. Its main thesis postulates that audiences prefer cultural products that are “as similar as possible to one’s own language, culture, history and values”.41 It should be noted that this so called proximity is a dynamic matter: When no local productions are available, audiences tend to prefer products of other cultures that are similar to their own.42 Thereby, the proximity theory claims that language is a primordial aspect in defining audiences, next to, for example “jokes, slang, historical references, political references”.43 Although there are some (small) differences in vocabulary, grammar and accent,44 the majority of Dutch and Flemish people perfectly understand each other, and “do not need to switch to another language variety to be understood”.45 Thus, according to the proximity theory, this would mean that Dutch and Flemish cinemagoers like each other’s films and prefer them over, for example, non-Dutch language European films. When we look at the domestic cinema admissions provided by the annual reports of both regions, there seems to be a contradiction between theory and reality. That is, since the 1990s, box-office hits from the Netherlands have hardly managed to attract Flemish (or Belgian) cinemagoers, and vice versa. Before the 1990s, some films—such as Mira (1971, Rademakers), Flodder (1986, Maas) and Hector (1987, Coninx)—were highly successful in both countries. However, from the turn of the millennium on, box-office hits were no longer able to cross the border successfully, as the following examples show: Dossier K. (2009, Verheyen) with 408,176 visitors in Belgium46 versus only 1,000 visitors in the Netherlands,47 and Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (2009, Oerlemans), with 1,200,000 visitors in the Netherlands48 and less than 16,000 visitors in Belgium.49
At the same time, the Dutch and Flemish film industries do choose to structurally remake each other’s films, and not, for example, Scandinavian, French or even Korean films. In other words, it seems that we are dealing with a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, there is a clear mutual repulsion between both regions; Dutch and Flemish cinema audiences do not consume each other’s films anymore. On the other hand, there is also a mutual attraction: Dutch and Flemish filmmakers choose to remake each other’s films, and audiences are eager to consume these remakes. Although language has been determined as the principal indicator of cultural proximity and as a crucial binding factor of geo-linguistic regions,50 our case of same-language remakes hints at an urgent need for a more complex understanding of such intercultural media practices in general and the cultural proximity theory in particular.
Remakes, directors and cultural identity
The remake’s explanatory power goes further; there is also a remarkable distinction between academic conceptions and the opinions or motivations of our monolingual remake directors. Although we do not claim that an analysis of these (monolingual) remakes reveals clear-cut objective differences in Flemish and Dutch cultural identities, we would argue that it is the filmmakers’ perceived differences between Flemish and Dutch culture that clearly come to the surface.
For example, Erik Van Looy, director of the Flemish Loft (2008), refers to the existence of a ‘big cultural wall’ between both regions when explaining why the Flemish version of his film would not work in the Netherlands, thus forcing the film distribution team to opt for a remake. Together with the Dutch remake’s director Antoinette Beumer and common producer Hilde De Laere, Van Looy argues that although the film evolves around ‘universal themes’, some culture-specific elements needed to be changed to attract the Dutch audience. The women in the Dutch Loft (2010, Beumer) are, for example, portrayed in a more sympathetic way and are less disapproving towards adultery. Beumer also explains this choice by stating that these women would be more recognisable to the Dutch audience. In addition, the representation of nudity and sexuality is more present and explicit in the Dutch remake of Loft. Once more, Van Looy explains this by referring to Dutch people’s nature as more extraverted, claiming that “the Dutch audience would not have tolerated it” if the film had been shot differently.51 Another Flemish remake director, Jan Verheyen, similarly mentions large differences in cultural identity: “Dutch people are just more brutal than we [Flemish] are. We have indeed opted for a softer version. That is related to national character traits”.52
These statements reveal a more ‘classic’ and simplified approach to the cultural proximity theory and assume rather homogenous (sub)national audiences that “tend to prefer their own local or national productions first”.53 This interpretation of the cultural proximity theory contradicts the more recent approach of broadening and differentiating the notion of proximity by claiming that “the audience is not simply embedded in a general culture that is locally or nationally determined … it is differentiated into different milieus and lifestyles, and differs in its socio-demographic characteristics”.54 Moreover, the above statements reveal an essentialist interpretation of cultural identities, claiming that every culture is built upon different “core values’, including historical, religious, linguistic, political, legal and economic patterns.55 This viewpoint on cultural identity differs greatly from the (social-)constructivist approach, which is common in the fields of remake studies and cultural studies.56 The latter claims that the subject is at all times fragmented, existing out of different identities and susceptible to constant changes. On the other hand, the Dutch-Flemish remake directors construe (cultural) identities rather than ‘objectively reflecting’ them, which is in line with Hall’s influential notion of identity as “never complete, always in process, and always constituted within, not outside, representation”.57 The revealed discrepancy between the essentialist interpretation of (cultural) identity as articulated by the remake directors and the constructionist stance of many scholars confirms Brodwin’s thesis that outside the field of cultural studies and the academic world as a whole, these essentialist notions of identity remain omnipresent.58 Again, this demonstrates a need for a profound contestation and deeper understanding of the proximity theory, as well as broader intercultural media practices. For this, remakes in general and monolingual remakes in particular prove to be an excellent stepping stone towards acknowledging remakes’ reflexive potential.
Distancing oneself from a normative viewpoint on the remake practice might eventually lead to a more nuanced stance towards remakes of films in general, and the reframing of the (dominant negative connotation of the) term ‘remake’ in particular. As discussed above, the Dutch-Flemish monolingual remake obliges us to adopt such a standpoint, which enables its deconstruction and demonstrates its explanatory power. In the first part of this article, our case hinted at a more nuanced difference between American and European film remakes. It is often said that the Hollywood remake practice is (purely) commercially driven, whereas the European is not, or is less focused on financial gains. However, Dutch-Flemish monolingual remakes are usually financially driven, which disproves the latter assumption. Moreover, our case also points at a more complex interpretation of the relationship between Benjamin’s concept of the aura and the remake practice. We also claim that instead of focusing on the pros and cons of the remake, an intertextual reading of the phenomenon actually proves fruitful. In this way, the rapidly emerging Low Countries’ remake practice brought up an urge for a refinement of the proximity theory in particular and for intercultural media practices in general. Finally, our case also revealed a remarkable difference between the essentialist and constructionist conception of cultural identities put forward by same-language remake’s directors and the academic field, respectively.
1 Jennifer Forrest and Leonard R. Koos, Dead Ringers: The Remake in Theory and Practice (New York: SUNY Press, 2012), 4–5.
2 Daniel Herbert, Transnational Film Remakes: Time, Space, Identity (Los Angeles: University of Southern California, 2008), 189.
3 Ibid., 20.
4 Ibid., 198.
5 Ibid., 206.
6 Kathleen Loock, “Retro-Remaking: The 1980s Film Cycle in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema,” in Cycles, Sequels, Spin-Offs, Remakes, and Reboots: Multiplicities in Film and Television, ed. Amanda Ann Klein and R. Barton Palmer (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016), 280.
7 Chelsey Crawford, “Familiar Otherness: On the Contemporary Cross-Cultural Remake,” ibid. (University of Texas Press), 112.
8 Forrest and Koos, Dead Ringers, 12.
9 See for example Leo Braudy in the afterword of the book Play it again Sam (1998): “But to conclude that remakes happen primarily for financial reasons obscures the way in which the remaker must also believe that this particular story still inspires what Ira Konigsberg here calls ’another attempt to get it right’”.
10 “Romantische Komedie over Gevoelens Van De Man,” Het Belang van Limburg, February 13, 2015, accessed October 28, 2016, http://gpr.me/svaj8ku4vh/.
Authors’ translation, original citation: “Het verhaal van de film komt oorspronkelijk uit Duitsland, waar ‘Männerherzen’ in 2009 een gigantisch succes was. In Nederland werd in 2013 een Nederlandse versie gemaakt, ‘Mannenharten’, eveneens commercieel een schot in de roos. ‘Om geen verwarring te zaaien met de Nederlandse versie hebben we voor de Vlaamse film een andere titel gekozen’”.
11 Jan Pieter Ekker, “Nederland-Vlaanderen En Vice Versa,” November 9, 2010, accessed October 12, 2016, http://www.jpekker.nl/nederland-vlaanderen-en-vice-versa/.
Authors’ translation, original citation: “Commercieel? Inderdaad. Zo gaan die dingen”.
12 Forrest and Koos, Dead Ringers, 29.
13 Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction,” in Continental Aesthetics: Romanticism to Postmodernism, trans. Harry Zohn, ed. Richard Kearney and David Rasmussen (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), 166–77.
14 Michael A. Arnzen, “The Same and the New: Cape Fear and the Hollywood Remake as Metanarrative Discourse,” Narrative 4, no. 2 (1996): 190.
15 Ibid., 190–91.
16 V. A. Ginsburgh, P. Pestiau, and S. Weyers, “Are Remakes Doing as Well as Originals,” CREPP Working Papers (2006): 3.
17 Some might even argue that Benjamin’s claim has nothing to do with remakes, because cinema as such is an example of infinite reproduction. There is no such thing as an ‘original film in time and space’, and what is left is an endless, splintered duplication. However, we think this lecture of Benjamin’s work is not very fruitful and, furthermore, implies a very direct, literal and non-symptomatic reading of his work.
18 Ginsburgh, Pestiau, and Weyers, “Are Remakes Doing as Well as Originals,” 3.
19 Thomas M Leitch, “Twice-Told Tales: The Rhetoric of the Remake,” Literature/Film Quarterly 18, no. 3 (1990): 144.
20 Ibid., 142.
21 Warner Bros Pictures, “Point Break – Official Trailer [Hd],” YouTube (2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncvFAm4kYCo.
22 Leo Braudy, “Afterword: Rethinking Remakes,” in Play It Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes, ed. Andrew Horton and Stuart Y. McDougal (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 327.
23 Dorothy Wong, “The Remake as a Translation: Localism, Globalism and the Afterlife of Horror Movies,” Translation Quarterly, no. 66 (2012): 29.
24 Ben Child, “Don’t Call It Reboot: How ‘Remake’ Became a Dirty Word in Hollywood,” The Guardian, August 24, 2016, accessed October 12, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/24/film-industry-remakes-hollywood-movies.
25 Dwayne Johnson, “Instagram,” September 2016, accessed October 11, 2016, https://www.instagram.com/p/BJTMZqIDCCA.
26 Ryan Lamble, “Terminator: Genysis Is ‘Not a Sequel, and It’s Not a Remake’,” Den of Geek!, June 9, 2015, accessed November 2, 2016, http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/terminator-genisys/35701/terminator-genisys-is-not-a-sequel-and-its-not-a-remake.
27 Brian Gallagher, “The Amazing Spider-Man Is Not a Remake Says Marc Webb,” Movieweb, 2012, accessed November 2, 2016, http://movieweb.com/the-amazing-spider-man-is-not-a-remake-says-marc-webb/.
28 Joye, Stijn, “Novelty through Repetition: Exploring the Success of Artistic Imitation in the Contemporary Film Industry,” Scope: An Online Journal of Film and TV Studies, no. 15 (2009): 61.
29 Amanda A. Klein and Barton R. Palmer, “Introduction,” in Cycles, Sequels, Spin-Offs, Remakes, and Reboots: Multiplicities in Film and Television (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016), 12.
30 Leitch, “Twice-Told Tales: The Rhetoric of the Remake,” 139.
31 Herbert, Transnational Film Remakes: Time, Space, Identity, 30.
Constantine Verevis, Film Remakes (Palgrave Macmillan US, 2005), 14–15.
32 Herbert, Transnational Film Remakes: Time, Space, Identity, 31.
33 Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994), 33.
34 Herbert, Transnational Film Remakes: Time, Space, Identity, 31.
35 Joye, Stijn, “Novelty through Repetition: Exploring the Success of Artistic Imitation in the Contemporary Film Industry,” 68.
36 Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), 95.
37 Forrest and Koos, Dead Ringers, 4–5.
38 Kurt Van den Vonder, “De Remake Als Model Van De Filmgeschiedenis En Middel Voor Filmgeschiedschrijving: Een Macrohistorische Verkenning,” Communicatie (1997): 2–28.
Michael Harney, “Economy and Aesthetics in American Remakes of French Films,” in Dead Ringers: The Remake in Theory and Practice (2002), 65.
39 John Belton, American Cinema/American Culture (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994), 17.
40 Janet Staiger, “The Future of the Past,” Cinema Journal 44, no. 1 (2004): 128.
41 Joseph D. Straubhaar, Robert LaRose, and Lucinda Davenport, Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology (Cengage Learning, 2012), 502.
42 Koichi Iwabuchi, Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002).
43 Straubhaar, LaRose, and Davenport, Media Now, 502.
44 Johan De Caluwe, “Nederland En Vlaanderen: (a) Symmetrisch Pluricentrisme in Taal En Cultuur,” Internationale neerlandistiek 51, no. 1 (2013): 45–46.
45 Leen Impe, Dirk Geeraerts, and Dirk Speelman, “Mutual Intelligibility of Standard and Regional Dutch Language Varieties,” International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing (2008): 102.
46 “Jaarverslag,” Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, accessed October 15, 2016, http://www.vaf.be/sites/vaf/files/jaarverslagen/vaf_filmfonds_jaarverslag_2009.pdf.
47 “Jaarverslag,” Historie Film- en Bioscoopbranche, accessed October 16, 2016, http://film-bioscoopbranche.nl/issue/JRV/2009-01-01/edition/01%20Jaarverslag/page/1?query=.
49 Ekker, “Nederland-Vlaanderen En Vice Versa.”
50 S. Waisbord, “Mctv Understanding the Global Popularity of Television Formats,” Television & New Media (2004): 359–83.
51 Erik Van Looy, interview by Sarah Goorix, Master’s thesis at Ghent University, 2011. Authors’ translation, original citation: ”Ja, ik ben nogal verlegen en ik durf dat niet vragen om alles uit te doen. Wij hadden van in het begin de intentie om die scènes heel tactvol en stijlvol te maken en niet ‘bonk erop’. In Nederland was het iets meer ‘bonk erop’, maar ik denk dat dat daar ook moest. Ik denk dat de Nederlanders het anders niet anders zouden hebben gepikt. Ze zouden gezegd hebben: ‘Dat is wat flauw’”.
52 Jan Verheyen, interview by Nora De Ketele, Master’s thesis at Ghent University, 2015. Authors’ translation, original citation: “Dat is ook weer zo… Nederlanders zijn gewoon iets brutaler dan wij. Wij hebben inderdaad ook voor een softere versie gekozen. Dat heeft ook weer met volksaard te maken, of hoe wij dan op dat moment onze volksaard hebben afgemeten aan de Nederlandse”.
53 Joseph D. Straubhaar, World Television: From Global to Local (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2007), 91.
54 L. Mikos and M. Perrotta, “Traveling Style: Aesthetic Differences and Similarities in National Adaptations of Yo Soy Betty, La Fea,” International Journal of Cultural Studies 15, no. 1 (2011): 85.
55 J. Smolicz, “Core Values and Cultural-Identity,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 4, no. 1 (1981): 75–90.
56 Chris Barker, Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice (3rd Ed.) (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008), 218.
57 Stuart Hall, “Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation,” in Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 210.
58 Paul Brodwin, “Genetics, Identity, and the Anthropology of Essentialism,” Anthropological Quarterly 75, no. 2 (2002): 323–24.
Notes on Contributors
This article stems from a recently initiated research project called Lost in Translation?, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). The project aims to scrutinize the various cultural and economic dynamics and dimensions involved in the Dutch-Flemish same-language film remake phenomenon. Eduard Cuelenaere is a PhD candidate working as the main researcher on this four-year research project, which is supervised by Dr. Stijn Joye and Dr. Gertjan Willems. All authors are members of the research group Centre for Cinema and Media Studies (CIMS) at Ghent University.
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