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Transnational Film Remakes$
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Iain Robert Smith and Constantine Verevis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474407236

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474407236.001.0001

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Translating Cool: Cinematic Exchange between Hong Kong, Hollywood and Bollywood

Translating Cool: Cinematic Exchange between Hong Kong, Hollywood and Bollywood

(p.118) 7. Translating Cool: Cinematic Exchange between Hong Kong, Hollywood and Bollywood
Transnational Film Remakes

Rashna Wadia Richards

Edinburgh University Press

Film historians have long noted the various intertexts of Bollywood cinema, which has historically evolved from the intermingling of Sanskrit drama, folk mythology, Parsi theatre, and ancient religious texts. Comparatively little critical attention, however, has been paid to the ways in which popular Hindi films remake Hollywood films, even though Bollywood films have borrowed consistently from American cinema. Transnational film remakes do much more than reconstruct their narratives to conform to local cultural practices. They engage in intense ideological and aesthetic negotiations, which result in complex performances of resistance, parody, and homage. This chapter explores such negotiations by investigating how Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante (India, 2002) remakes Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (USA, 1992), which is itself a remake of Ringo Lam's City on Fire (Hong Kong 1987). Each version of a heist gone wrong emphasises the performance of “cool.” This chapter explores Gupta's cross-cultural makeover by paying attention to the ways in which the idea of “cool” travels across industries and cultures. Such an investigation steers the remake beyond traditional categories of uncritical admiration or derivative plagiarism and allows an examination of the transnational media flows between Hong Kong, Hollywood, and Bollywood.

Keywords:   Transnational film remakes, Kaante (2002), Reservoir Dogs (1992), City on Fire (1987), Bollywood

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