Friday, November 5, 2010

Connie Willis: Remake

**Note: this is an except from a review I wrote for my blog Seeing Sepia. For the full article, please click here**

As a reviewer of Golden Age Hollywood films, I find myself among the countless people who look back longingly at the films of the mid-20th century and lament the loss of the "purity" of those films. Whether or not we're deluding ourselves remains to be seen, but it can certainly be argued that older movies had just as many problems as contemporary ones, albeit in different areas.

Apparently one of my favorite authors is among this group of rabid old movie fans. Connie Willis wrote a novella called Remake in the mid-'90s that was a love song to the Golden Age of film, and particularly the movie musical. I've known about this book for a while, but I found it difficult to procure a copy because it was never very popular. I finally read it recently, though, and since it fit in so well with my recent themes of musicals and Fred Astaire in particular, I thought I should include it.

In the near future, Willis envisions a Hollywood where CG rules the day. New live-action movies are a thing of the past, as it's much easier to place CG renderings of famous actors into new movies or remake old movie with an all-star cast of your choice. And if you don't like the ending to Casablanca you can change it on demand. It's a sort of post-modern dystopia where everything is simulated from sex to movie stars to feelings via designer drugs.

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