'It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.'
- Andy Warhol
Hollywood loves a remake - what better way to ensure success than to try as hard as possible to recreate something that has, in the past, been successful? It takes a lot of the pressure off the creative process when you aren't bogged down by having to think up new ideas, research into fresh concepts, do any writing.
For this reason, I have rebooted a franchise of my own. Frank O'Hara has been given the Michael Bay treatment and put back to work with sassy new ephemera. For your delectation...
Not you, thick-stock magazines and swanky pamphlets
with your perpetual allusions and weighty wider reading,
nor you, avant garde Performance Art, shotgun
wedding of the two, feigning insight badly, nor you,
indie-rock bovine bullshitters, alternative as puberty (though
this is certainly my camp) but you, Motion Picture Industry,
it’s you I love!
In times of stasis, we must all decide again and again what turns us on.
And be up front about it: I see the way you fetishise a plastic bag, it taught me
how to revel in the noises off and celebrate an out-take (and is steadily
hooking me into bonus material), not with the smug atheists
who the films have taught to trust only the lies they can see,
not to the BBFC, who will allow a rape as long as there is no swearing,
but to you jaded Cinema, grimy-desaturated-gritty-realistic-o-scope,
incorrigible iMax and deafening Dolby 5.0, sub-woofing your deafening
message as you substitute all sense of depth for a third dimension. To
Jason Statham as the angry geezer with a grudge and a gun,
Denise Richards whose chocolate locks beguile (lucky Charlie) and her legs,
Megan Fox with oily hands tinkering with a Transformer’s chassis
scowling, Vanessa Hudgens sending photographs of her vagina
to an Aryan-eyed Zac Effron who denies having ever seen one,
Jude Law, Cassanova of the crèche grabs a nanny on the sly
the Batmans, each and every one of you (I cannot bring myself to prefer
Christian Bale to Michael Keaton, I cannot!), Cameron Diaz in a red coat
smiling and humming through interviews, Sam Rockwell of moon,
such cabin fever, and rocklike too, the agile Uma Thurman,
Gloria Stuart throwing her necklace off James Cameron’s boat
from her beautiful veiny hands, Gwyneth Paltrow rescuing Robert
Downey Jr. and Daniel Craig rescuing Eva Green from nothing,
David Carradine dies from an exploded heart as Samuel L. Jackson
combs bits of brain out of his afro whilst chastising John Travolta,
Noomi Rapace with her skin-tight toughness and childish smile,
George Clooney smirking and Robert pimping Freddy Rodriguez
smoking with an out-of-date bravado, Saoirse Ronan in peril,
and Brittany Murphy in memoriam, and Heath Ledger in memoriam
and laughing and method, and Corey Haim in memoriam and laughing
and abusive and broken by drugs, and Bryan O’Byrne in memoriam
sagely and understated and conciliatory in the background,
Lindsay Lohan as a snowglobe in an earthquake, yes to you
and to all you others, the ambitious, the talented, the both, the ones
clustered in Los Angeles cafes and dream of passing your screenplay
to a receptive Ridley.
May the days of your remakes continue forever, until the final droplets
of plot have been squeezed from every spin-off conceivable and movies
are remade before they have even finished production, until the sequels
seep from viability and the five remaining masters capable of original
thought have passed into the void like Harry Patch leaving us with the
finite films we deserve. Render, you glorious gigabytes of digital film,
as the world is rendered ready for your final release.