Remake

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Jul 25 23:48:23 EDT 2001


On Wed, 25 Jul 2001 16:29:08 +0100, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:

>I just read Remake a few weeks ago, and I think it was the only book 
>by	Connie Willis that I really disliked. (I think I'd better 
>give this a spoiler space now...)
>
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>I didn't like the way it was sort of typical: with the guy falling 
>for the mysterious, glamourous girl, instead of the one who not only 
>likes him, but helps him and obviously cares about him and does 
>everything he asks. I think this really annoyed me because Heada 
>seemed so much more real to me than Alis, and what does Alis ever do 
>for Tom except look all intent and pretty?

Reminds me of the relationship in _Lincoln's Dreams_ too, though without the
Heada character.  I don't like Tom much either, though, so I guess I figured
Heada was better off without him.  :)

>AND also I didn't like the fact that Hollywood never stopped making 
>remakes. I think that disturbed me most of all because it gives the 
>message that in the future we will have lost all our creativity and 
>our ability to make something out of nothing. It is a very depressing 
>outlook on everything.

I think Willis was being critical of the way the movie industry appears to
care more and more about the bottom line--staking all their money on big
name stars, unwilling to take risks, etc.  I don't know how true this really
is, but it certainly appears that way from where I stand.  If producers and
directors today would rather cast a big-name star than an unknown, it's a
logical step to assume they'd want to keep casting that star for decades.

Besides, this is a dark future, an If This Goes On story.  It's meant to
scare you.  And, conversely, to make you want to watch Fred Astaire movies.
(Though I don't agree with Alis about Gene Kelly, or rather, I agree he
makes things look hard but I still like watching him.  But I'm not a
dancer.)  This book always reminds me of all the movies I've never seen that
I'd like to see eventually.  I like it a lot, though I didn't at first (see
below).

> And it doesn't seem to make it all right that 
>there is a hope Alis and Tom will get back together. I know that it 
>is meant to be dark and chilling and all that, but it seems more of a 
>elongated warning to society than a proper story with good characters 
>you can like and care about. (I hated Tom.) I hope that I am 
>misreading or misunderstanding it, because I really don't want it to 
>be THAT bad.

It *is* a warning to society, but whether you like it or not depends on...I
don't know...probably exactly what you say, how much you are aware of it as
a message.

The first time I read it, I misunderstood the ending to mean that Alis was
never coming back.  It was extremely depressing.  It's not like _Fire and
Hemlock_ where I just didn't understand the ending, it was simply that I
misread it, or something.  I never do this with other authors.  It's
strange.  Anyway, the point of the ending as I see it is that there's hope
not only for Alis and Tom, but for the film industry, because other
countries are still making live-action films--so there's the possibility of
a comeback.  The whole B plot about Tom editing out the AS's plays up this
theme too: Hollywood is changeable and subject to fads.  Don't you think
it's interesting that _Bellwether_ was her very next book?  I haven't
thought about it in that way until just now, but surely there's a
connection.  (Or it's the quantum butterfly.)

Melissa Proffitt
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