The terminology may differ but the ways in which we derive art from other art typically translates from one medium to another.
Music’s cover songs are the movie industry’s remakes, and reboots are the literary world’s ... plagiarism.
OK, it doesn’t always translate but the ways in which we use original works of art, be they films, songs or television shows, to create other, new works of art are typically universal.
I say typically because there is nothing in film, literature or television comparable to the uniquely musical phenomenon of the remix.
A remix typically takes a well-liked or well-known song and turns it on its ear. The song is reimagined and its composition is altered, leaving the listener with a new song that bares only a slight resemblance to the original work.
Sometimes they are fun. Sometimes they are abject disasters and useless noise. But they are almost always interesting.
So, why hasn’t film or television caught on to the fun to be had with remixes?
Why not a remix of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in which the film opens with Cameron’s father’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California crashing through that giant plate glass window. Cameron, Sloane, Ferris and the audience are left to piece together the day’s events in reverse?
Or a “Superman” remix in which Lois Lane and everyone else at the Daily Planet have long ago figured out that the Man of Steel and Clark Kent are the same guy. Turns out a pair of glasses really are a shabby disguise. The rest of the film would be spent on the myriad ways Kent’s co-workers find to avoid letting on they know about his not-so-secret identity. “Man, Clark, you just missed Superman. Again. How do you suppose that keeps happening?”
Bravo would do well to remix its popular, and brain-rotting, “Real Housewives” franchise by instead airing episodes of “The Real Hard-Working, Likable and Otherwise Well-Adjusted Husbands of (Insert Random City Here).” The show opens with the aforementioned hubbies striking some goofy pose while their publicity-starved wives lurk in the background. Each man utters a tagline like, “If you think I’m respectful at home, you should see me at the office.”
The possibilities are endless.
If any studio heads or TV executives are reading this, there’s plenty more gems where these came from and I’m only a phone call away.
In honor of my soon-to-be greenlit remix of “Jaws,” in which the shark is merely a self-loathing apex predator stress-eating his way along the New England coast one bloody summer in the 1980s, this week’s playlist features eight great remixes.
You see, the shark hates himself for eating skinny dippers and tipping over boats but it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive.