Monday, April 23, 2007

The Day the Earth Stood Still

It has been announced that on May 9, 2008 the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still will open in theaters. The 1951 film, from the Harry Bates short story Farewell to the Master, is considered as one of the best science fiction films ever made. I have doubts that a remake will be as good as the original.

The 1951 film, directed by Robert Wise, is an intimate, suspenseful drama that touches on many themes that emerged from the paranoia of the 50's cold war era. An atmosphere of mistrust, conflict and xenophobia between nations mixed with a love and fear of technology, to act as a savior or destroyer, permeated many films of that time. All of those themes easily fit into our world today; but with the movie industrie's over use of spectacular special effects, I expect the remake to lose the intimate drama, in favor of action and profits.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a product of its times. For the remake to work, it would need to be either a close copy, with updates, or a clever new interpretation of the original story that fits into this time. I hope it is a great new film. Unfortunately, my pessimism makes me doubt it.