Memory is a gift. Through memory we bring people back into our lives. We relive the wonderful and tragic giving us strength and teaching us lessons. Memory lets us cherish nostalgia and enables us to remember what happened on last week’s Breaking Bad since the recap at the beginning barely hits the highlights.
That’s why it is such a shame that Hollywood has no memory. If they did, there wouldn’t be so many remakes.
It’s simple. Remakes suck. There have been okay remakes. Occasionally a remake is better than original, but usually when we haven’t really heard of the original or it was pretty mediocre to begin with. But when we can remember the original lovingly an fondly, it is merely a loss of memory (and greed) that leads to a remake. The result is usually very unsatisfying an not a big money maker either. Remakes stink.
You need only look to this summer’s remake of Total Recall. Check out my review rather than rehash the joyless fun here.
Living life without memory is tragic. We see in Alzheimer’s and Dementia afflicting our loved ones and how the familiar disappears from us. The heartbreaking film Away from Her is a powerful reflection on the loss of memory and how it affects family. One of my all-time favorite films of the past 15 years is Memento, featuring a man who has no short term memory so he tattoos clues about his wife’s murder to his body as a permanent guide. If you’re never seen it, you really must. It was director Christopher Nolan’s big break-through.
This High Holy Days, we need to avoid our own remakes. Don’t just do that same thing you did last year in a new form. You promised to exercise, you joined a gym, and then nothing. As you can remember your flaws, don’t repeat the error. Try something new and fresh. Get a personal trainer. Find a friend to work out with. Commit to a race or a bike ride or a swim in some public way that you can’t get out of. Use your memory to not repeat, but to change it up. Remakes of your past also stink. Use your memory.
#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.