This month the online video film magazine The Seventh Art has published two video essays on films: one on David Fincher's remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and one on Son Frere and depictions of death and dying in cinema. The videos are part of The Seventh Art Issue 4.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as a Meta-Remake". Written by Christopher Heron, edited by Simone Smith, sound recording by Brian Robertson, narrated by John Cohen. Excerpt:
The two most common types of film remakes at the moment are remakes of older films and remakes of recent foreign language films. The remakes of these foreign films aim to port the domestic success of a film to a North American market that has not seen the original. David Fincher’s remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is somewhat of an aberration because the original film had grossed a very healthy $10 million in the United States based, in part, on the success of the source novel. Compare that with the recent remake of Let the Right One In, another Swedish domestic success, which only accumulated $2.1 million in the U.S. ahead of its own American remake. It’s fair to say that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a unique remake where a fair amount of the prospective audience is aware that it’s a remake.
"'The Color & the Texture of Blood': Visible Mortification of the Body in Son frere." Written by Elysse Leonard, edited by Christopher Heron, sound recording by Brian Robertson, narrated by John Cohen. Excerpt:
Classical cinema’s approach to non-‐violent, or “natural,” death can be differentiated from that of post-‐classical cinema in several ways. Death in classical cinema is meaningful, narratively functional, and, perhaps most significantly, invisible. Post-‐classical death, however, is irrational, contemplated, and highly visible as a material process. This is represented in Son frère through a nonlinear story, close-‐up shots of the body and the use of camera to identify with the dying character.