First they came for Godard. Then they came for Billy Wilder. And now, friends, because we’ve stood idly by and watched Hollywood remake the films of so many great 2oth-century auteurs, they’ve come for our childhoods: Jim Henson’s creepy-kid classic The Dark Crystal is slated to get a sequel, courtesy of the late Muppet master’s production company. And it’s going to be in 3D. Brace yourselves.
Now, as we live in fear that Labyrinth is next, we’re hoping to set Hollywood straight by listing 10 iconic directors whose films should never be remade, sequeled, prequeled, or otherwise messed with.
Why: Whether you love him or think he’s an overrated perv, his neurotic, hyper-literary, death-obsessed sense of humor can’t be imitated. And let’s face it: There’s no saving some of his recent films. (Hi, Whatever Works!)
Why: Kubrick was notoriously meticulous, and his films took years of hard, perfectionist work to make. 2001: A Space Odyssey doesn’t happen overnight, and Hollywood would never have the patience or intelligence to properly update this luminary’s work.
Why: There is just something inimitable about this French New Wave legend — and, watching her film memoir, The Beaches of Agnes, last year, we realized exactly what it is: her insatiable lust for life. No one tells a human story quite like Varda.
Why: Unfortunately, the sanctity of the Pope of Trash’s work has already been violated, in the form of a post-Broadway Hairspray remake. When your original version stars Divine and Ricki Lake, with a supporting cast that includes Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, and Rick Ocasek, there’s just no improving upon it. No one walks the line between art and camp like Waters.
Why: Though her genre choices vary widely, from The Last Mistress’ historical costume drama to Fat Girl‘s hyperrealism to her most recent film, an adaptation of the classic children’s story Bluebeard, the French director’s themes are remarkably consistent. Her complex stories delve into dark sexuality and the complicated, often antagonistic, relationships between sisters. No one without similar obsessions would be half as successful with her material.
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