Thursday, December 04, 2008

Still the same old story

Just when I started the Intellectual Property law class, my procrastination reading material turns out to be all about intellectual property. (I interpret this as The Goddess telling me it's okay not to do the readings for tomorrow's class just yet...)

Continuing my Connie Willis vein, Remake was a typical and short Willis story. The premise: Hollywood has stopped making movies and just recycles and remakes all of its old ones, using the digital (and copyrighted) images of actors and props and sets. The main character is a guy who remakes movies for studio bosses. There's a girl who wants to dance like Fred Astaire and be in the movies. There's also a fascinating subplot about censorship: part of remaking the old movies is scrubbing them clean of alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs. Bottles of booze are replaced by teacups or glasses of lemonade, and entire plots have to be rewritten if they involve drunkenness or addictive substances.
Casablanca is the film our hero, who struggles with his own drug and alcohol addictions, struggles to remake. Hint, hint.

In all, it was a quick read. Not one of Willis' best, and honestly, not that engaging. But I was really drawn to the concepts of the nature of escapism, the illusion of the movies, and revising past cultural products to fit changing realities. Also, the book reminded me a bit of Lincoln's Dreams, a Willis book I read earlier this year, in that the male main characters are tragically obsessed with kind but afflicted women, and the endings to both sort of fade to black sans resolution. Like many of Willis' other stories, this one also mentioned time travel, but didn't completely explore that possibility, much like Lincoln's Dreams strongly hinted at dream travel but didn't take the full plunge.

And now, I think I'll avoid having to read up on trade secret laws by reorganizing my Thanksgiving photos of La Ping├╝inita.

The more things change, the more they . . .

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