Things go badly for a small film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie when they are attacked by real zombies.
Grimmfest Says: Talk about unlikely… The Red Carpet Gala Opening film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was a high-end French remake of Shin’ichirô Ueda’s groundbreaking micro-budget classic ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, by the Oscar-winning writer-director of THE ARTIST, featuring A list stars Romain Duris, Berenice Bejo and Matilda Lutz in the lead roles. Adhering quite closely to the structure of the original, but shot France, in French, with (white) French actors, the film adds a whole new layer of metatextual mischief by retaining all of the Japanese character names and location-specific references for the opening act, tipping the nod even to those unfamiliar with the original film that something is really not right here, and creating the impression for those who have seen it that they are watching something akin to Gus Van Sant’s disorientating shot-for-shot PSYCHO remake. But stick with it. An explanation is coming, all be it a deliberately ridiculous one, as the film confronts head-on its own uneasy status as a remake, and becomes a mordantly funny meditation on the complexities, compromises and cultural confusions of the international film trade, what gets lost in translation in remaking any film for an entirely new market, and the struggles of the ambitious filmmaker to keep any kind of creative control in the face of corporate intransigence and on-set chaos. Beautifully played, and filled with deft character details and sharply funny insights into the filmmaking process, capturing well the onset cameraderie among the escalating stress and confusion, and with a genuinely uplifting and triumphant finale, it’s that rarest of things, a remake that can not only stand alongside the original in terms of quality, but which also finds a way to build on many of its themes, and add some new twists of its own.
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