Double-Crossings: Reversing the Remake

  • Deborah Walker
Part of the Crime Files Series book series (CF)


As shown in Chapter 9, exponents of French noir have been at the forefront of recent European attempts to counter the increasing presence of American productions on its national TV and cinema screens and the overwhelming dominance of Hollywood as an irresistible global force. Ways in which French film-makers have remobilized and reinvented the crime drama genre in an attempt to reverse this trend, range from explicit critique of the Americanization of French cinema and society (L’Appât) to an increasingly Americanized approach to the genre (e.g. Les rivières pourpres, Kassovitz, 2000, 36 Quai des Orfèvres, Marchal, 2004). Since the 1990s, resorting increasingly to an ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ strategy has seen a significant number of French film-makers (most notably, Luc Besson: Nikita, Leon, The 5th Element, Joan of Arc) making the Atlantic crossing to produce and/or direct films in American English, with somewhat mixed results, both in terms of critical reception and popular appeal. The twin tropes of emulation versus resistance and the issue of Hollywood hegemony that have been shown to lie at the heart of French noir, are perhaps nowhere more evident than in the phenomenon of the transnational and transcultural remake, particularly given the number of American remakes produced since the 1990s, many involving films from the French noir canon.1


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  1. 7.
    Poor Russian illegal immigrants and criminal elements also feature in Xavier Beauvois’ Le Petit Lieutenant (2005).Google Scholar

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© Alistair Rolls and Deborah Walker 2009

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  • Deborah Walker

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