Thursday, June 20, 2024

“Memento” Remake News Stirs Anger: Worst Idea Yet Comes in Press Release


Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” is one of my favorite films of all time. It’s certainly a cult film with a hardcore following of loyalists. Ever since its release in 2000, the backwards told tale starring Guy Pearce, Joey Pantoliano, and Carrie-Anne Moss has again and again made dozens of all time and top 100 film lists.

So this afternoon’s press release that someone other than Nolan was going to remake “Memento” has stirred anger all over social media. AMBI Films, financed by the Bacardi family of Italy, apparently bought a film library that included “Memento.” Their first reaction? To remake a perfect film by an auteur who has since gone on to huge success with the “Dark Knight” movies, “Inception,” and “Interstellar.”

What AMBI doesn’t understand is that you simply don’t do this. It didn’t work for “Psycho” or “The Heartbreak Kid,” for example. Certain classic films cannot and should not be remade. There’s no reason for it, and the public only rejects them twice as hard.

The library AMBI bought includes some interesting titles. First there are personal gems like “Begin Again,”The Ides of March,” “End of Watch,” “The Way Back,” Peter Landesman’s “Parkland,” and Ron Howard’s “Rush.”

But somehow Mel Gibson’s controversial “The Passion of Christ” and “Apocalypto” are in there, too, as well as Gibson in “What Women Want.”

Someone should tell these people to pour themselves a Bacardi and rethink this plan.

It’s ironic: “Memento” is about a man unable to form short term memories. But the movie going audience has a very good long term memory of “Memento.” They will not go for this, with Nolan excluded from the equation. And what decent director or actor will get involved?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News