There was certainly no pleasure to gain from the narrative construction, if anything we had hoped to achieve what Classic Hollywood would almost consider taboo, and that is leaving a ‘story’ unfinished, unsatisfying (Mulvey: 1975). Because of this we had to have (on some level) a workable, albeit weak narrative strand for viewers to follow. It was loosely based around the original ‘break up’ talk between the protagonist couple:
If there was anything else in our remake that the audience were to understand it would be our deliberate subversion of classic a-b-a editing used in character interaction to create an objective view of the entire scenario. It would have been difficult (and potentially outside of the task criteria) if we removed all hints of the shot-reverse shot technique. As it stands the back and forth between the characters we see on screen were possibly the only major similarity the remake still shared with the original. We drew our inspiration from this factor, choosing to ‘reset’ the conversation between characters with each full cycle of ‘a-b-a’. We employed erratic and disorienting changes to the mise en-scene to anchor the idea that this was a deliberate effort on our part, rather than a coy of amateurism. As a result, the characters would swap places, the temporal space was disrupted, and almost every major ‘breakup emotion’ was successfully captured within the various ‘scenarios’.
By providing so many variants of the breakup between Peter and Gwen the audience would be ‘teased’ into interacting with the text, not only trying to ascertain which of the versions were authentic (if any), and how the story would really end. To a certain extent we are also tapping into the collective anxieties that Hollywood can never portray without correction, such as infidelity and the compromise of masculinity.
Personally, when looking back at this task we admit its flaws and strengths as a piece. Most notable is the overwhelming nature of the remake, given we had roughly two minutes to retell a story with a totally different I.M.R. It was a daunting prospect, during which we lost ourselves to time constraints after a period of trial and error with other potential scene remakes. Having eventually chosen the one in question, there is no doubt that viewers would have to re-watch the scene several times over just to appreciate the quantity of changes. The political economy of mainstream cinema (from an institutional perspective) dictates that films (for mass consumption) are simplistic, digestible, and satisfying as a disposable ‘single burn’ product. This is definitely something ours is not, but as a task, an exercise of understanding, particularly regarding the contrast between different modes of representation, we feel we were successful.
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