Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peculiarity Breeds Strangeness

After years of dreaming about it, I finally made it to the Forbidden City in Beijing this week. It is an awesome, majestic place with hundreds of years of history. I finally saw the place where the final scene of The Last Emperor was shot, where the old Pu Yi meets a young boy who is playing around his old throne, and he gives the boy his old pet grasshopper. Then there is the massive gates, through one of which the young Pu Yi tried to ride his bicycle, but is stopped at the last minute by palace officials who close the gates on him. It was breathtaking to see the places where the film was shot, even more amazing to be aware of the intricate history of the place.

Then I came home to some peculiar news. First of which is the announcement that there will be a sequel to Richard Kelly's masterpiece of teenage angst and detachment, Donnie Darko. Now, how does one make a film to continue the story of an earlier film that is already near-perfect? Well, you simply can't, which is easily why everyone has gawked at the idea. A British company will produce the sequel, called S. Darko, which will pick up the story seven years later, when Donnie's sister Samantha and her friend Corey take a trip to Los Angeles and are "plagued by bizarre visions." Kelly will have nothing to do with the sequel.

Well, I say why get your knickers all in a knot over this? Just ignore the film and don't let it taint your good memories of Donnie Darko. Simple as that.

Then there's the bit of news about Werner Herzog and Nicolas Cage wanting to make a film together, and the project is a remake of Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant. Now that's a bizarre vision. First, I thought after Rescue Dawn, Herzog would have sworn off working on another Hollywood film, since from that now famous New Yorker story, we know how shitty it was for Herzog. Secondly, what is it with Cage nowadays? Has he become the Remake King now? First there was The Wicker Man, then Bangkok Dangerous, and now Bad Lieutenant. Not a very good career move, I must say.

While on the not-so-bizarre side, there's news that David Cronenberg might be directing the remake of Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo's Time Crimes. I haven't seen thre Spanish original, but if word of mouth is to be believed, it seems this might just be right up Cronenberg's alley, remake or not.

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