.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, July 29, 2011

Trip Advisor and Psycho

Today's Guardian has an excellent new parlour game in which they rewrite the plots of classic movies by adding in modern technology. In truth it is a just a new slant on the Orange cinema adverts that urge us not to let a mobile phone ruin our film viewing experience.

They say that nowadays, most directors 'won't pretend their characters lack the most basic, obvious information-gathering and communications skills, because it leaves such a gaping hole in the middle of the story. This is particularly true when younger, tech-savvy audiences are the target market. Resentment of the long shadow cast by technology may explain why a number of recent high-profile movies – Inglourious Basterds, Robin Hood, Secretariat – have been set in the past, where modern technology cannot ruin things for everybody. Frankly, I think this could lead to a lot more films like Gladiator. Or a revival of the western genre. No, not Cowboys & Aliens.'

Some of the examples they give illustrate the premise perfectly, though some are less convincing than others:


Before checking into the Bates Motel in a deserted California backwater, Janet Leigh consults Trip Advisor on her iPhone and reads: "Smelly, dirty, really creepy owner, constantly talks to a mother no one ever sees. Filthy shower, manager's office smells of stuffed birds, no Wi-Fi. Often travelling alone on business as a cutting-edge website designer, I foolishly checked into the Bates for a night with a gift voucher my ex gave me, and let me tell you, I spent 10 sleepless hours with the chest of drawers propped up against the door, sharpening my toenail clipper, terrified that the owner was going to come in and hack me to pieces with a butcher knife. Oh, another thing: No cable." So Leigh doesn't check into the hotel, there is no horrific shower scene, and Psycho does not become a classic.

Dial M for Murder

You can't get somebody to strangle your wife to death with a phone cord anymore because nobody under the age of 70 still has a land line. Since it would take a long time to beat somebody reasonably fit, like Grace Kelly, to death with a mobile phone, the murderer tries to do it with a portable shredder, but she bludgeons him with her iPad. Or with a totally out-of-date netbook she happens to have lying around. Or with the server she uses to store all the music from her old vinyl records. Or something.

It is getting to the point where the appeal of classic cinema films lies in their quaint old-fashionedness rather than the quality of the writing, acting and directing.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?