4.10.04

Self-preservation society


A fews days ago Liam and I rented The Italian Job from Sky's pay-per-view. I should have known better. I have yet to see a Hollywood remake of any European or Japanese (or even Hollywood) film that in any way approaches the original. This is especially true when there is also a 30-year gap between the original and the remake. Watching the remake, in which the criminals got away with their ill-gotten goods, and undoubtedly lived happily ever after, I was reminded of the 1969 original, starring Michael Caine and Noel Coward. The original was made at a certain time and in a certain place, within a certain culture: none of which translated to early 21st century LA. The crooks in the original were lovable rogues cocking a snook at the system, they were also very, very British - or, rather, English - at a time when London was THE place to be, while Italy had lost some of its sheen. The cultural references abound - particularly with the background of the England v. Italy football international providing the gang with their cover - England were world champions at the time, and the Mini Coopers were not red, white and blue by accident. Similarly, the film was made at a time when very few people travelled abroad, and Italy was tantalisingly close, yet all too far away. Now, I may not be English, but I can appreciate a good film, and the original Italian Job is a classic. So I went out and bought the DVD and sat and watched it... Now, I've got an idea...

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