Thursday, April 2, 2015

Everything Old Becomes New Again.

My son recently turned nine. He desperately wanted the theme of his party to be Pokemon. He’s crazy about this childhood phenomena that swept through the 1990’s generation, then died significantly, only to live on in the shadows of diehards fans. Now it’s back, as popular and lucrative as ever. I pondered the dramatic return of these slightly annoying creatures, and came to a strange conclusion: Everything old becomes new again.
Cinderella, the timeless fairytale re-told through generations, has undergone yet another re-vamp and is currently playing to audiences around the globe. I can’t wait to see it (if I can drag my son away from Pokemon to do something ‘girly’, that is.) Then there are television shows. I googled ‘old TV shows being remade’. The results claimed that over fifty movies, and at least eight television shows are currently in the process of being reinvented for a new generation.
And, of course, many movies are actually adaptations of books, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Fifty Shades (no, I haven’t seen the movie or read the books). Fifty Shades is itself an adaptation, of the Twilight series, which I did read. Although I managed to ignore the controlling male character in Twilight, I found some interest in the romance factor – something I am told Fifty Shades lacks.
Even Twilight is said to be a reinvention, with a contemporary American setting, and the addition of vampires and werewolves. The first book is apparently a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, while the second is Romeo and Juliet (I’m told the third and fourth are also retellings of famous romances, but I can’t recall which ones). 
With so many remakes over so many creative genres, I had to ask myself the question, have humans run out of ideas, or are we so invested in a sure thing (money-wise) that we are unwilling to take a risk on all things new and untested?
What do you think? Are we taking enough creative risks? Or have new ideas been replaced with the greater-valued sure thing?


You can visit Rose Dee at: http://rosedee.com/
A special thank you to Iola Goulton for the extra information about the Twilight series.  

12 comments:

  1. Hi Rose - Interesting post. I think money definitely comes into it as far as TV shows and Hollywood films. It costs so much to make a film these days, that I guess the backers want a 'sure thing'. I see they've just made 'The Odd Couple' into a new TV show, and both my hubby and I were asking 'Why' the other night. Perhaps people are also less willing to take creative risks. But when you see a truly original movie or read a really original book, it's such a breath of fresh air. I guess there are standard plots (boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back), but it's a challenge to come up with a fresh spin. Definitely something to ponder.

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  2. Yes, Nola,
    I am sure money is the driving force, but then there is the argument of the public's love of time-honoured tales like Cinderella. I know I want to see the new movie. :-)

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  3. Hi Rose,
    That's so true! It's been done for a long time too. Romeo and Juliet became West Side Story. Shakespeare himself borrowed from old stories. I think his Taming of the Shrew was based on an older story, Pygmalion, which was later given a 19th century British spin, My Fair Lady. It's fun to try to trace them.

    As for Pokemon, it's amazing how it's coming back again. My eldest, Logan, who is now 20, went through a huge Pokemon passion in the 90s which we were all drawn into, of course. Now Blake, who has just turned 11, is doing the same thing. It feels as if we've been pulled back a decade.

    As Nola says, I appreciate the challenge to come up with something original, which I know you do too.

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    1. Our boys would certainly have some fun discussing Pokemon. :-)
      It is hard to come up with original ideas though - especially when your like me and you love the classic tales - even to the point of loving all the remakes.

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  4. Thanks for that Rose. I have to say that I am often amazed at the creativity in the world. There seems to be lots of creativity and originality flowing from where I sit. Perhaps often it is a rehash of old things in a new light. But I think humanity has amazing potential and it's awesome to ponder and learn and see where life is leading us. :)

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    1. I agree, Anusha - and sometimes those old stories hold great lessons. They are worth repeating.

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  5. Interesting post, Rose. Movies and such are a business and the people who make the investment decisions back winning ideas which most often happen to be re-makes.

    It's interesting how popular Biblical fiction is these days.

    BTW, the new Cinderella is beautiful. Don't expect anything different, just a modern re-cast of the old classic.

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    1. Can't wait to see it, Ian. It looks very visually spectacular.
      You are right about Biblical fiction, and I read somewhere that there is another Biblical re-telling in the mix - one with Hugh Jackman as the lead. !!!!

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  6. Thanks, Rose. Some of the recreations are more appreciated than others, hey! :)
    I love the movie Ever After, which is a recreated Cinderella story. I think the old fairy tales can give a foundation for creative juices to base themselves in, as well give thoughtful insight into an old story so many of us already know so well. That's the beauty of them; we all start with similar (if not the same) memories of the tale and allow our imaginations to think of all the 'what ifs' and 'could have beens' that the recreations inspire.

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    1. And the lessons involved in the story, which are great reminders for children and adults alike.
      I like Ever After too, Catriona. It's great that Disney have come up with Frozen, which is in itself a retelling, but has a load of new themes.

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  7. I'm up for a creative risk! We were so creative, we took friends to see Cinderella at the movies on Good Friday - and only as we were walking into the theatre did we realise we were the only people who didn't have a little girl aged between 3-10 in tow. However, even as a re-make, it was fantastic, well written and acted. Solomon said, there's nothing new under the sun - everything that is has been before. Except the Greenfield Legacy - ha ha

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  8. Thanks Rose,

    Good thoughts that led to my own questions. Are our stories new or are we finding new ways to tell old stories? Does the originality come from the authentic expression of the storyteller's own uniqueness?

    Have you heard of The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker? I confess that I haven't read it but he seems to be arguing that every story can be classified into one of these plots.

    In Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need, Blake Snyder's second chapter is called, "Give me the same thing... only different!" (Apparently he took this line from someone else!) He then proceeds to describe the ten genres that he believes most movies fall into.

    I hope you re-use your blog post somewhere! With an original, surprising twist of course...

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