Re: New Memes Book

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Thu 07 Apr 2005 - 14:10:18 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Re: New Memes Book"

    Same old same old; movies seemed to have a renaissance about the time that Tarantino started recycling Asian fare; we have another mini-one now with the recycling of deviant Jap stuff and old 70s and 80s horror. This smacks of the same old puctuated pattern with bursts of novelty that wax asymptotic in fairly short order.

    Ringu 2 ain't a patch on the first one -- felt very much like a 'hey why did I get off that wave get back on it quick' thing to me. The US versions are as you say poor reflections (in this case).

    An interesting one was 'The Vanishing' where there was a _very_ continental-European feel to the original (with a downbeat ending), which was followed by a gung-ho Keifer saves the day mostly by hitting US version. But... it turns out that the same guy directed it!

    To make this properly germane, we could consider the 'echoing' of a niche (apparently in this case for a film about a skinny freak down a well); this could be the meme equivalent of the exporting of an ecosystem piecemeal (cf, the mammalisation of Aus/NZ = hey, I saw Akira, what else do you have? Do you have any with less tentacles...)

    Cheers, Chris.

    Scott Chase wrote:
    > --- Vincent Campbell <> wrote:
    >> <Are you still watching the American TV show
    > 24?
    >>>looking through the DVD's at a local store
    >>recently I
    >>>noticed a show called MI-5 which looks like it
    >>>be a Brit version of 24. I could see how the title
    >>>"MI-5" would give a show a distinctly British
    >> Yes, Day 4 is running on satellite channels at
    > the
    >>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
    > actors
    >>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?
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      Chris Taylor (
      HUPO PSI: GPS --
    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)

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