Chatroom, a remake.

One of the more interesting practical tasks of the year, a two stage project involving French new wave.

What is French new wave? Well that’s a tricky one. Some would describe it as an institutional mode of representation  created by the French film academics during the fifties and sixties, which gathered momentum as an alternative to Hollywood.

Now one could argue that it is a criticism of mainstream cinema, an implicit satirical representation of the way cinema is headed. If that’s the case then ol’ Dziga would be proud. Some argue it is a form of film-making that celebrates absurdity in people, the sporadic, the quirky. Some argue that it is a precursor to post-modernism in film.

Difficult as it is to pinpoint, French new wave is without dispute, one of the most important film movements of the twentieth century. Without it, we wouldn’t have the jump cut, not to mention a myriad of other techniques, approaches and themes that mainstream cinema has appropriated for our enjoyment (think spoof films, and those irritating ‘wait a minute you’re watching a film!’ kind of films).

So we had to take the ‘spirit’ of the new wave and use it to remake a film from the past five years. In the end we (I) settled for Chatroom. The cinematic adaptation of a stage-play by Hideo Nakata. For a detailed review and analysis of the film (which I had written previously) click here.

To view the fruits of our labour, click… You get it.

As a first practical encounter with French new wave we felt relatively satisfied with the end result. However it was (as you can probably tell) somewhat confusing, and erratic. You’d really have to be in our shoes as producers to appreciate the creative choices behind it, but to cut a complicated story short, we tried to summarise an already complex story into one and a half minutes, with the added complexity of the new wave. I think the (at the time) one and only comment captures the spirit of the audience…

“Dafuq did I just watch?”

We tried, we see where we failed. The question is, did we improve our new wave film-making by the final stage? Read the ‘Amazing Spoderman’ to find out!


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