Monday, March 27, 2006

Body Snatching, Body Body Snatching

This post is at least semi-related to the Abel Ferrara blog-a-thon. Read more about the blog-a-thon here.

I'm not really sure what this was supposed to be. I remember having a vague idea about taking screenshots from all the three Body Snatcher movies - Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956, Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1978, Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers from 1993 - and hoping that the juxtaposition of images would somehow make for an interesting starting point for further discussion. Perhaps accompanied by some humorous - or even better, clever - comments? Whatever the lazy and unfocused intentions were, the end result left me unsatisfied, yet I was oddly fascinated by how snaps made at the exact same moment in some cases formed rather interesting trios when put together - like the ones at the 50 minute mark - or how I in many cases managed to avoid pure cutaways and actually capture some nice shots.

So take this for what it is - a series of images, snapped at every five minutes from each film. From top to bottom: 1956, 1978, 1993. Feel free to draw conclusions or make observations. If such things escape you, just enjoy the slideshow.

Note that Kaufman's version is almost two hours long, while the other two are about 80 minutes each. Also note the final end credits snapshot - a coincidental nod to the original.

(Thanks to Eric.)

























At 1:39 PM, Blogger Richard Gibson said...

Using images from three films is a good idea and it works. I'd completely forgotten Ferrara had made this remake.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Mubarak Ali said...

Nice idea! Just a glance at these images shows Ferrara's version is almost as economical as Siegel's original. My favourites are at the 1:10 mark - are they all looking at the same thing?!

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Martin Degrell said...

I agree - Kaufman's is a lot darker and complex as far as compositions go, and it only gets darker as the film progresses. Ferrara's images indeed tell of a close kinship with Siegel's original - clear, simple-yet-refined. A dedication to the genre pic right down to almost the exact same running time.

At 4:29 AM, Blogger HarryTuttle said...

The Ferrara is the only I've seen of the three so far. Very interesting concept Martin, to watch 3 films at once. Is it inspired by Deconstruction?
I'm less interested by how three parent adaptations coincide at arbitrary time marks (art of chance), than by the parallel visual universe described by this concurrant snapshots along the running time as an ensemble.
Not only the photography signature shows but the style of plot choices (interiors with actors, or exteriors with displacements and special FX).
The 5 minutes span gives a good sense of the evolution of the action apparently.

You should repeat this exercice with other movies. ;)

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Martin Degrell said...

I agree Ben, I find that pretty interesting too, to see how they evolve. It was oddly fascinating working with the snapshots and grouping them almost in a triptych way. It's definitely inspired by Deconstruction, but I'm afraid I'm not informed enough of it to make a qualified attempt at it.

I absolutely plan to do something more like this in the future.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous ban~ken said...

You will shortly have the opportunity to add a fourth angle on this immortal story, as Oliver Hirschbiegel has been regurgitating it yet again for our consumption. This third remake, with Nicole Kidman, opened a couple of days ago.

Hirschbiegel had a brief life before being sucked up into sequel town. First dipping his toes by doing some odd episodes of "Tatort" and "Kommissar Rex," and then movies like "Das Experiment" before ending it (?) with "Der Untergang."

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous dave from knoxville said...

Hi Martin,

I just caught up with this; I love the concept. As a math guy, I would probably suggest that you space the screenshots proportionately to account for the differences in length. In other words, instead of the 5 minute mark, post the screen shots 5% of the way in.

Anyway, nice concept, and the upcoming documentary looks great too.

All the best



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