A remake of the 1960 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Although this version is in color, features a different cast, and has been set in a contemporary timeframe, it is closer to a shot-for-shot remake than most remakes, often copying Hitchcock’s camera movements and editing.
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i'm very interested to know what Van Sant's reasons were for making this film...? Was it just an earnest remake for a new generation? was it a social experiment? an irreverent insult? Has he ever made any statement regarding his intentions with this film?
Whilst a near play-by-play of Hitchcock's 1960s original might have been unnecessary, this is a fascinating learning experience for Van Sant as a director, who deduced that the soul of the filmmaker will still emanate instinctively no matter what degree of imitation with regards to the original, is at play.
"Desire" list. The most risky Van Sant's- leaving aside some of his biographical shorts- that got a most intoxicating way in its start- as Hitchcock's homonymous film- is also the film that finally delivers to gallant Viggo Mortensen, before Cronenberg's "History of Violence", a role that highlight's him in the world of contemporary men. As with vicious Vince Vaughn, of whom this film constitutes the only exception.
Piss & moan about this movie to your heart's content, but I like it if for no other reason than the fact that it mostly sticks to the original script. Gus Van Sant's version of Psycho is Warholized dinner theater which works if you don't look at it like every other remake or take it too seriously. Admittedly, its badly dated (for the casting of Vaughn, Heche and Julianne Moore's wardrobe alone) but its a fun effort.
Hate it for whatever reason you may like, but the truth is that I can't seem to fully hate a movie that is so similiar (apart from the obvious modernization)
to its source material, which I adore. I do think it was unnecessary, mainly because it often seemed very mechanic (maybe because it was trying to stay "true" to the original or perhaps because it just wanted to be a colorized version).
Making a shot-for-shot-remake is sure to draw ire but it is honest at least. In a day and age filled with reboots and reimaginings this almost felt fresh. There´s no pretending to improve, alter, add or leave out things. Just a remake in every sense of the word. And it's not badly made. An interesting experience.