Friday, April 30, 2010

Seinfeld Recut Becomes George

This type of thing has been making the rounds on the internet lately, so let's take a closer look. I'm talking, of course, about re-editing movies or TV series to display trailer-length genre-change. So take, for example, The Shining as a romantic comedy:

Or, the hot-off-the-presses Seinfeld recut as a sappy drama:

Mashups and reinterpretations are nothing new. They're been done just about to death in everything from music to literature. And besides for the differing skill levels on display--Girl Talk, for instance, is way better than just about anyone else doing music mashups--I think the interesting aspect of this phenomenon is no longer the concept but rather the effect. By this I mean, nearly two million people have watched the romantic comedy version of The Shining in the past 3.5 years. How many people have seen the original The Shining in that time frame? Is it greater or fewer than the number of people who've seen the re-edit? I only saw The Shining for the first time last winter (on the big screen, at a midnight showing, which was very cool) only about twelve years after first learning the basic storyline on The Simpsons. I guess I'm mostly curious about how culture--popular, in particular--spreads. These types of remixes require a basic level of knowledge. But I wonder, if the fracturing of culture is really happening in the way that some claim, if this collective memory and knowledge will allow for mashups.

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