RE: New Memes Book

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu 07 Apr 2005 - 13:48:53 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: New Memes Book"

    --- Vincent Campbell <> wrote:

    > <Are you still watching the American TV show
    > When
    > > looking through the DVD's at a local store
    > recently I
    > > noticed a show called MI-5 which looks like it
    > could
    > > be a Brit version of 24. I could see how the title
    > > "MI-5" would give a show a distinctly British
    > flavour.>
    > >
    > Yes, Day 4 is running on satellite channels at
    > moment. I wonder
    > if the MI5 show might be a repackaged version of
    > 'Spooks', the BBC's answer
    > to 24? Or is Spooks shown on BBC America? Complete
    > hokum but a tremendous
    > amount of fun. (For those who don't know, MI5 is
    > the domestic spy service
    > in the UK, James Bond belongs to MI6...).
    > I see with Day 4 of 24, yet more British
    > playing baddies, or
    > possible baddies, including some of those playing
    > the obligatory arab/muslim
    > terrorists. Still, considering the machiavellian
    > behaviour of the staff of
    > CTU as depicted in the show ('OK I will stop those
    > nuclear plants from
    > melting down, but only if you give me promotion!'
    > that kind of thing) nobody
    > is represented that positively.
    > Sorry, that's a bit off topic isn't it...
    It might be more on topic if we were familiar enough with both shows to see if one resulted from presence of the other across the pond and how much copying and divergence there is between the two. Maybe it's an example of convergence, since terrorism is a hot topic and TV networks like to make money so they release shows that are going to hook viewers with current event oriented themes.

    I'm more familar with the Ring theme (pissed off psychic girl in the well horror movies). This stuff was big in Japan, based on Koji Suzuki's books. There were some Japanese movies and manga's too (Japanese comics that read from back to front). Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon with its own bastardized version of the Japanese oriented theme and released two movies in the US that take the original pissed off psychic girl trapped in the well theme and add American characters and elements like horses, lighthouses, and ticked off deer. I have Suzuki's second book _Spiral_, but haven't read it yet. I gather, though, the the American movie _Ring 2_ has very little to do with
    _Spiral_, so perhaps the American versions have diverged significantly from the Japanese originals. I liked the reviews of the movie, especially the ones that said that they went to the well too many times with that one :-) I saw the Japanese movie _Ringu_. It differed from Suzuki's book, but not as much as _The Ring_. I haven't seen _Ringu 2_ yet and wonder if plans are in the works to release it in the US so we can get a version that hasn't been Americanized for our protection.

    Japanese horror seems to be gaining some steam, at least on the rental shelves. There are several titles I noticed last time I looked. After seeing the movie
    _The Grudge_, I decided to rent _Ju-On_, the Japanese original. There are many similarities between the movies, but the Japanese version doesn't flow as well. The American version has more continuity IMO. The Japanese version takes each character and shows how the haunted house curse affects them. Both versions were very creepy (especially the little Japanese kid appearing on each floor during the elevator scene!). Of course the American version was infused with some American characters, but it does take place in Japan. It didn't seem as bastardized as the Americanized
    _Ring_'s, where the original context is completely chopped away to force fit it into the US mainstream. The American characters were force fit into a Japanese context IMO.

    If a movie hits it big in Japan, why can't they just re-release it in the US theaters with dubbing or subtitles without forcefitting a remake into American themes. Do they think American audiences are too xenophobic to appreciate full blown Japanese horror? Do we need American characters with whom we're more comfortable identifying? Are they embarassed that Japan seems to be kicking our butts at our own game yet again? All we seem to be able to do anymore is recycle old movies like _Texas Chainsaw Massacre_ and
    _Amityville Horror_ or release yet another sequel or
    _Exorcist_ prequel or hybridize movies like _Freddy vs. Jason_ and _Alien vs. Predator_. Or we can take popular Japanese movies and Americanize them, so Hollywood gets a piece of the pie.

    You're the media expert, do you have any ideas?

    __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 07 Apr 2005 - 14:06:49 GMT