By John Ruberry
Every once in a while I come across an article on the internet that makes me want to scream in disbelief. Such as is the case with a piece on Salon by Carolyn Hinds with the headline, “Hollywood, please stop adapting K-dramas. It’s not just unnecessary, it’s racist.”
Wow, look who is woke.
While acknowledging adaptation of motion pictures from one culture to another is commonplace, Hinds, who begins one sentence with, “As a Black woman, cultural appropriation is behavior I’m all too familiar with,” unloads on the wave of Hollywood remaking South Korean movies. And she spews this awful offal, “Instead, I’m referring specifically to how Hollywood seems to be making a concerted effort to focus on South Korean – as well Japanese – content, for the sole purpose of remaking the stories to appeal to American audiences, i.e. white audience.”
But as Mark Levin so often responds on his radio show to a recording of some liberal, “Oh, shut up you idiot!”
Hinds calls the Asia-to-Hollywood artistic transfer “whitewashing.”
There are plans in Hollywood to remake the Korean thriller Parasite, a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed and one that I felt was deserving of its Best Picture Oscar. In her Salon piece Hinds brings up other movies from South Korea that were remade by Hollywood, including Oldboy, another fabulous film. The flat American version (or so I’ve heard, I haven’t seen it) was directed by Spike Lee. Il Mare was redone as The Lake House, which starred Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Moving beyond South Korea, Hinds notes that Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was inspired by a Hong Kong flick, Internal Affairs.
No society exists in a vacuum, not even North Korea, which is it should be. Culture crosses borders, as does science as well as political notions. The modern version of democracy comes from the European Enlightenment. The greatest form of government is utilized not just in the United States, but also in South Korea and Japan.
Another South Korean film I enjoyed is The Good, the Bad, the Weird, which as you probably guessed is a remake of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And weird it is–instead of an American Civil War setting, this Western takes place in Japanese-occupied Manchuria in 1939. Hinds ignores this specific cultural transfer in her Salon piece. The soundtrack of The Good, The Bad, The Weird includes an instrumental rendition of the Animals’ 1965 hit “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” The original was recorded by Nina Simone, an African-American woman.
What about Japan, which Hinds mentioned earlier. The stellar collective of writers here at Da Tech Guy is known as Da Magnificent Seven, a tip of the hat to the 1960 Western that starred Yul Brynner and many others. That film is an acknowledged remake of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai. The first movie of Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy,” A Fistful of Dollars, is an unacknowledged remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.
Kurosawa, who named John Ford as one of his major influences, filmed a Japanese warlord version of Shakespeare’s King Lear, a brilliant epic, Ran.
So now you know why I called Hinds an idiot.
Dan Bongino on his radio show often notes that the unhinged left run will run out of enemies, so it is doomed to devour itself.
Hey Hollywood: Remake more South Korean and Japanese movies.
Hey South Korea and Japan: Remake more Hollywood movies.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.