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  • Introduction

In a summer box office that touts adaptation, remake, and serial texts such as Shrek the Third, Live Free or Die Hard, Spiderman 3, The Bourne Ultimatum, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rush Hour 3, Transformers, Halloween, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, The Simpsons Movie, and Hairspray, it becomes clear that reiteration remains a central industrial mode in Hollywood production. Indeed, various film industries in Hollywood and beyond have capitalized on the remake in order to recapture, reimagine, or reinvent earlier works. As a nodal point of industrial, authorial, reception, and aesthetic concerns, the remake and the adaptation raise a number of pertinent questions for contemporary media studies: What industrial conditions must be present in order to green-light a remake or adaptation? What role does reception serve in the adaptation process? How do changes in genre impact the reproduction of texts? What are the implications of remaking or "translating" a text across various cultural contexts? What is the place of the author or auteur in serial properties? These and other questions led to the theme "Remakes and Adaptations" for this issue of the Velvet Light Trap.

The editors solicited papers that pushed the boundaries of adaptation studies. Following Robert Stam's intervention into academic discourse with his essay "Beyond Fidelity," we leave behind earlier concerns with "originality" and "authenticity" to the source and embrace a more pluralistic notion of remaking and adaptation. Additionally, remake and adaptation studies have been stigmatized as Ameri- and Eurocentric, focusing on film versions of "classic" Western literary works. We thus wanted to explore other areas of adaptations and remakes through their place within transnational flow, as an industrial practice, and as texts that mediate relationships between authorship and reception.

Considering the goal of this issue of the Velvet Light Trap, the authors included here offer new perspectives on the remake and adaptation. By examining cycles of popular Turkish cinema from the 1960s and 1970s, Iain Robert Smith in "'Beam Me up, Ömer': Transnational Media Flow and the Cultural Politics of the Turkish Star Trek Remake" contributes an insightful case study to the remake and adaptation debate surrounding cultural exchange and transnational media flow. Referencing Marwan Kraidy, the author contends that hybridization serves as an interstitial process through which cultures meet and interact. He analyzes Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda (1974), an unlicensed Turkish remake of the Star Trek episode "The Man Trap," in which the local character Turist Ömer is self-consciously inserted into the narrative. The author argues that the hybridized relationship between the American and the Turkish text is playful and offers a commentary on appropriation that "both engages with the U.S. media entering the country at the time and asserts the agency of the Turkish film industry writing on top of it." Overall, Smith considers how the "Turkish Star Trek" reconfigures and recontextualizes the "original" world of Star Trek and comes to represent not a one-way flow but a dialogue.

Moving from Turkish popular cinema to independent art cinema with "Remaking and the Film Trilogy: Whit Stillman's Authorial Triptych," Claire Perkins incorporates previous sequelization discourse in order to question how industrial definitions have limited understandings of the sequel and the remake. Her essay references "the film trilogy as an example of serialization that can be understood in terms of the issues of disguise, transformation, and difference." Perkins utilizes what Thomas Elsaesser describes as the "international art cinema" in order to call attention to the association between art cinema and the trilogy. By examining three Whit Stillman films—Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994), and The Last Days of Disco (1998)—the article suggests new discursive directions for both auteurism and serialization. [End Page 1]

Matt Yockey brings us back to Hollywood with his article "Somewhere in Time: Utopia and the Return of Superman," which considers D.C. Comics' durable commodity in original terms—not as a series of potentially continuous narratives but rather as repetitions of an intertextual construct, a storytelling stasis that runs counter to conventional notions of adaptation and continuity. Yockey argues that each new Superman narrative is less a new story than a reenactment of mythic meanings, speaking to both a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-4251
Print ISSN
0149-1830
Pages
pp. 1-2
Launched on MUSE
2008-02-21
Open Access
No
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