How Can We Save the Bride of Frankenstein Remake from Being the Worst?
June 17, 2009

When the Bride of Frankenstein met the Frankenstein Monster, she was shocked and horrified.  Her iconic scream was the scream of “DO NOT WANT!!!”  This is actually quite sad because the time the Monster has spent with a blind man has taught him about kindness and companionship, and her rejection reaffirms his status as the monstrous Other.   Given Jame Whale’s own sexuality, it’s hard to not read Bride of Frankenstein as an empathetic allegory about the demonization of the homosexual.  And, if nothing else, the Bride’s one fabulously fierce diva.  Simple logic dictates that I love that movie to pieces.  

But if you put a movie on an altar of love and adoration, Hollywood’s going to feel morally obligated to remake it.  And by remake it, I mean shit all over a perfectly good thing.  Bride of Frankenstein‘s no exception to the Hollywood rule, so when I read the news on ComingSoon.net of an upcoming remake , I totally put on my Bride face like it was my Sunday best:

bride of frankenstein

The Risky Biz Blog claims that Neil Burger, the director The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones, will be writing and directing.  I haven’t seen either of these movies, but I’ve heard The Illusionist is really good, so I guess things could be far worse.  Ehren Kruger could be tapped, so that’s something.  But it’s not enough to stop me from being angry enough to shit diamonds.

I’ll inevitably get pissy about any remake that messes with a key film in the development of my movie taste, or any movie I just happen to really love, because virtually all of them end up being brainless, soulless exercises in corporate greed and Hollywood’s inability to put faith in (or even look for) original, intelligent material.  The rare remake that does work, like John Carpenter’s The Thing or David Cronenberg’s The Fly, requires a truly original take on the material and a talented director.  Without having seen any of his movies, I can only say this much about Neil Burger:

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From Beginning to End Proves Brazilian Cinema Does It Better
May 23, 2009

The less said about this trailer for From Beginning to End (Do Começo ao Fim) the better, other than it’s certifiably the most ridiculous thing I’ve encountered in quite some.  Just watch it and remember that this is an actual movie and an actual story that people felt committed to tell because they see it as having serious, artistic merit.  Also, before you click play and watch this, prepare to have your brain melt and then spew out through your ears.  Seriously, you’ve been warned:

Ermmm….neat?  And also, HUH???

Perhaps this is simply an example of a movie that touches on a taboo that I can’t even wrap around my head, but I’m willing to bet that the large majority of the world would equally agree with my sentiments that this is kinda creepy.  I could even see this movie as trying to be more a metaphor for the broader socially forbidden love of homosexuality, but that doesn’t really work because we don’t need an extra layer of uncomfortable icing on our sexual taboo cake.  Homosexuality still holds enough of a taboo in mainstream film to where it’s pretty a shortcake: you just add some strawberries (like being a cowboy in Brokeback Mountain) and then serve.  From Beginning to End is too much of everything, though, and so it looks like it’s a multi-tiered cake of various taboos that’ll inevitably collapse in on itself.

That said, I totally appreciate any movie that’s seeking to confront what we perceive as right and wrong in order to make us evaluate our moral codes and social fabrics.  I could and should be capable of treating this movie as a serious endeavor that demands an intelligent, open-minded  discussion about cultural sexual mores, but instead I just keep replaying this trailer in awe of how–in spite of its polished direction and competent performances and attractive male leads and Philip Glassian score (and I do so love my Philip Glassian scores, y’all)–this movie looks so epically trashy!

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