The tripartite division of our collection suggests our major concerns. Part 1 (framed by the essays of Robert Eberwein and Biguenet) focuses on both the nature of remakes and on some of the ways Hollywood has handled this never-ending source of material. Eberwein's essay provides a useful context for understanding remakes within a "framework emphasizing contextualization" and an "analysis of conditions of spectatorship." Biguenet hones in on a particular aspect of the remake, the cinematic allusion. Taken together, the essays argue for a broader understanding of intertextuality in cinema than has commonly been explored.
The whole collection, in fact, celebrates a variety of critical perspectives regarding the remake. Beyond the general divisions established, we encouraged these invited essayists to employ various strategies for considering repeated and recreated texts.
The first pair of essays considers the films of Alfred Hitchcock, a filmmaker whose work has had an incalculable influence on later filmmakers. Robert Kolker offers a refreshingly original examination of Cape Fear and Basic Instinct as efforts to rework Hitchcock but which, for the most part, fail "to get the figures and the figuration right." Stuart McDougal considers Hitchcock as a director who "continuously re-explored themes and techniques from his earlier work." McDougal's study of The Man Who Knew Too Much sheds light on the workings of a director who always felt there was another chance to revise his past work and "get it right" in terms of new demands and interests.
Turning to a popular work that has been remade many times, Cineaste editor Dan Georgakas takes a decidedly political and ideological approach to the various versions of Robin Hood . He concludes that "the entertainment genre romance of Flynn is closer to historical truth and the myth than Costner's politically correct version so many decades later."
A pair of essays consider the different ways musicals remake earlier sources. Jerry Delamater works with A Star Is Born to map out four specific forms of remakes building on principles posited by Altman, Feuer, Delamater, Collins, and others. Krin Gabbard makes use of a variety of versions of The Jazz Singer to detail the oedipal narrative "that may have attracted each of the stars to the story in the first place."
Another examination of the relationship between the oedipal narrative and cinematic remakes is provided by Harvey R. Greenberg, a practicing New York psychiatrist. Dr. Greenberg takes a psychoanalytic look at Stephen Spielberg's remake of A Guy Named Joe (1943) in his Always (1990), relating it to possible unresolved conflicts between the filmmaker and his father. Beyond his "case study" of Spielberg, however, Greenberg clarifies the oedipal condition of the remake as he views it, concluding that "the remaker, simultaneously worshipful and envious of the maker, enters into an ambiguous, anxiety-ridden struggle with a film he both wishes to honor and eclipse."
Part 2 of our collection pays attention to the transformation of narrative across national and cultural boundaries. Realizing that for Hollywood to redo foreign films or for other countries to reshape Hollywood narrative much more is at play than simply translating from English to French or German or Japanese, each of these essays also explores the cultural and aesthetic dynamics of such makeovers.
Hollywood's raid on foreign narratives is given sharp attention by David Wills in his examination of Jim McBride's version of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless and by Michael Brashinsky in his study The Last House on the Left , Wes Craven's makeover of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring . Drawing on his studies of Jacques Derrida, Wills sees film itself as "a web of quotations" and the remake, in this case McBride's Breathless , as only a more blatant form of the whole process of representation. Brashinsky deftly chronicles the transformation of a European high art film into a Hollywood B film.
Andrew Horton and Patricia Aufderheide explore the reverse tradition as Hollywood narratives become the basis for foreign films. Using the Yugoslav makeover of the Coppola Godfather films in Emir Kusturica's Time of the Gypsies , Horton concludes that cinematic makeovers are in part an attempt by foreign filmmakers to feel connected to a world film community and in part a nostalgic impulse at a moment in media history when cinema itself appears in danger of being replaced by other entertainment media. Aufderheide turns to the Far East and details how Hong Kong imitates Hollywood "unabashedly" but, in the process, winds up reflecting much that is prevalent in contemporary Hong Kong culture.
The effect of gender on very different postmodern remakes is the subject of essays by Lucy Fischer and Chris Holmlund. Fisher maps the indebtedness of Pedro Almodovar's High Heels (1991) to Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959) and analyzes it as a postmodern remake through its "highly parodic" intertextuality, its many citations to mass culture, its intermingling of fact and fiction, its crossing of genres, and its presentation of gender. Holmlund stretches the boundaries of a remake even further through her detailed examination of the ways two experimental filmmakers, Su Fried-
rich and Valie Export, reshape Hollywood products. How, she asks, does celluloid surgery resemble plastic surgery? Using the analogy of the ways in which transsexuals and transvestites disturb gender categories, Holmlund demonstrates how experimental filmmakers transform earlier mainstream movies in their own works. In the process she raises a number of important questions about gender, genre, and the relationships between experimental and commercial films.
The final three essays in the collection explore the connections between Hollywood films and three other media: the comics, radio, and television. Luca Somigli examines the differences between "visual narratives on film and paper," clarifying the narrative possibilities of each form, before turning his attention to the ways in which film has drawn upon comic books for material and techniques. Peter Lehman directs our attention to the differences between radio and film. What happens, Lehman asks, when a film is retold as an episode in a radio series? Lehman underscores the important relations between radio and film in the thirties and forties, when directors, writers, actors, and technicians were working in both media. And Elisabeth Weis shows what happens when a film becomes a series on television, where the narrative can be expanded almost limitlessly. Her essay tells us a great deal about the cultural, technical, and narratological differences between a Hollywood film and a popular television series, at the same time that it extends our definition of the remake.
Part 2 concludes with the deathless appeal of vampire narratives. Lloyd Michaels broadens his dialogue on Nosferatu beyond vampires while noting that cinema itself is a specific signifying system that is haunting, since the referent is not an object or place that can be said to have an actual, even recoverable existence. Ira Konigsberg takes on Francis Ford Coppola's recent Dracula and all previous retellings of this story and suggests a popular cultural view of these films that reflects "changing fears and fascinations toward sex, seduction, and mortality."