Made in Britain, Remade in H…

Class: Thursday, 15.15-16.45  room 2.07

Office Thursday, 13-15 room 4.15

Assessment: 50% participation, homework assignments; 50% analytical note due end of May (1200-1500 words)

Throughout history artists have borrowed elements from earlier works for use in new cultural contexts and applying new technologies. This class focuses on one particular example of such borrowings: Hollywood remakes of British films, filmmakers, and TV series, providing you with an insight into British cinema, Hollywood film, new media and cultural studies. Why do remakes have such a bad reputation? Are they a relatively new phenomenon? We will analyse recent critical discourse on remakes as well as look at a few case studies from a range of theoretical perspectives.

Week 1: introduction, Inland Empire, British cinema, Hollywood cinema; Death at a Funeral credit sequences – analysis

Week 2: screening UK Death at a Funeral 

Homework: 1) Watch US Death at a Funeral; 2) read  Heritage and Brit-grit

Week 3: Remaking humour part 1: Death at a Funeral – discussion

watch clip 1 Eddie Izzard clip ; British heritage cinema Xmas special clip 2

posters Death at a Funeral 1

Homework: read 1) Intro from Remakes and Remaking : Concepts – Media – Practices (electronic book in the library);

Week 4: Remake in theory. Death at a Funeral discussion. The Office TV series introduction.

Handout Remake Handout 1, Remake Handout 2

Homework: 1)half a group watches the US then UK office, and the other half the other way round; 2) find out if Death at a Funeral 2x are in symbiotic or parasitic relationship?

Week 5: Remaking humour part 2: The Office 2x

The Office – summary Brent vs Scot -2Vc5QJ1

watch clip  2, clip 3 ; watch clip 4 ; clip 5

read Ricky Gervais on the difference between US and UK Office here

Homework: watch Alfie 1 & 2

Week 6: Remaking Caine 1

examine Alfie Posters

view critics’ top 100 greatest films (2012)

view directors’ top 100 greatest films (2012)

view the most recent list of the top 50 greatest films ever made (2016)

Week 7: Remaking Alfie part 2

Week 8: no class – I’m away at a conference

Homework: watch Get Carter (1971) and (2000)

Week 9: Remaking Caine part 2


Week 10: screening The Wicker Man

Homework: watch the remake of The Wicker ManWicker-man-posterthe-wicker-man_u-L-PQC6DD0

Week 11: Remaking horror, remaking cult? The Wicker Man

Week 12: Remaking horror part 2

Homework: watch Flightplan and The Lady Vanishes

Week 13: Secret remake? Flightplan

Week 14: summary

Suggested topics:

  • remaking auteurs

  • remaking cult movies, genres

  • remakes as sites for revisionist meanings

  • types of remakes

  • remakes in paratexts: DVDs, trailers, posters, etc.

  • remakes as parasite or symbiosis

  • remakes as a parody or hommage

  • the role of technology in the evaluation of the remake: blogging, user comments, amateur remakes, fanvids, mash-ups, recut trailers, etc.

  • originality, authorship, ownership

  • cross-cultural remakes

  • British versus American humour

  • Heritage Cinema

  • Brit-grit

  • Hollywood cinema

Suggested titles: Inland Empire, The Lady Vanishes, Flightplan, Alfie, The Wicker Man, Psycho, Death at a Funeral, The Office

  1. Boyd David and R. Barton Palmer, eds. Alfred Hitchcock. Influence, Imitation, and Intertextuality. University of Texas Press, 2006.

  2. Gray, Jonathan. Show Sold Separately. Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts. New York, London: New York University Press, 2010.

  3. Horton, Andrew, and Stuart Y. McDougal, eds. Play It Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

  4. Hutcheon, Linda. A Theory of Adaptation. New York and London: Routledge, 2006, 2012.

  5. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York and London: New York University Press, 2006.

  6. Tryon, Chuck. Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009.

  7. Verevis, Constantine. Film Remakes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

  8. Remakes and Remaking : Concepts – Media – Practices, 2015 (electronic book).

  9. Zanger, Anat. Film Remakes As Ritual and Disguise: From Carmen to Ripley. Amsterdam UP, 2006 (electronic book).