In David Lynch's new Inland Empire (8 screens), an actor is told that the movie he's working on is actually a remake. "I wouldn't have done it if it were a remake," is his angry reply. Not long after I saw that movie, I interviewed director Joe Carnahan about his movie Smokin' Aces. He spoke about some of his upcoming projects, including a film called Bunny Lake Is Missing. "A remake," I replied. "Not a remake," he retorted. He explained how his version would be different from Otto Preminger's 1965 film, which somehow made it "not a remake."

It's a touchy subject, apparently, and yet every other movie that comes out these days is a remake of something: a video game, a TV show, another movie. Sometimes we get sequels of remakes, or remakes of sequels or even more complicated configurations. In my less-than-400-screens realm, we have The Painted Veil (275 screens), which was already made back in 1934 with Greta Garbo. We have Casino Royale(187 screens), which is completely different from the version made in 1967. We have Black Christmas (4 screens), an already forgotten remake of a great, underappreciated 1974 horror film.

categories Columns, Cinematical