We are wholly stuck in the era of the ‘re-make.’ How many films are being churned out of Hollywood that represent a re-modelled version of a previous film? What has happened to all the original writing? It despairs me no end to see such a dearth of original screenplays, especially as I am personally struggling to complete the filming of ‘Quigley Cuts Down’ in the face of American opposition – a wholly original screenplay, penned by my own hand and superior to anything the Americans can throw at us!
What is doubly galling for me is the fact that even with American monies, my previous film adaptation, ‘Operation South Downs’ starring Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp and Jane Horrocks, has been ‘shelved indefinitely’ by the backers, mainly of American persuasion, at the forceful request of one Mr. Hopkins, who has decided, via his legal team, that the film – and I quote, ‘shall not see the light of day while I am still alive.’
You have to realise the deference towards Hopkins in as much as is he is referred to, over the water, as ‘President Hopkins’ and is in fact a full blown US citizen!
What is triply galling for me, is the news of a further re-make of a particular favourite of mine, starring the late and great Leonard Rossiter. The wonderful ‘Le Petomane’ (1979).
But of course, the Americans are calling it by some other title, citing various inexplicable reasons for doing so. Well let me suggest those reasons, based on previous experience.
Remember ‘The Madness of King George?’ Originally entitled ‘The Madness of King George the Third.’
Of course the American reaction to the original film title was one of, ‘Well I aint seen the first two, aint gonna waste ma time tryin’ to pick up the storyline.’
Of course, with some forceful persuasion, the film’s title was altered in favour of the American preferered version.
Well let’s look at the reasons for a change of title in the case of ‘Le Petomane.’
Firstly, it was cited:-
‘Hell it’s in French. Aint nobody gonna understand what the hell it’s all about!’
Secondly it was stated, ‘It got subtitles, gonna sink like a dog.’
Thirdly it was stated that, ‘We give it a Frenchie name, nobody gonna wanna go see it!’
It is well known what the yanks think of the frogs. They have made their feelings very clear in their usage of rouge et blanc as cleaning fluid and drain unblocker. Have you seen some of the humorous quips that our obese cousins over the big pond have been saying about our garlic loving cousins over the little pond?
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."--General Norman Schwartzkopf
"As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure."--Jacques Chirac, President of France"
As far as France is concerned, you're right."--Rush Limbaugh
"It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us."--Alan Kent"
Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day --the description was, 'Never shot. Dropped once.'"--Rep. Roy Blunt, MO
'The French Government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.'
Anyway, getting back to the plot, I believe that George Clooney has agreed to play the starring role of Joseph Pujol in the ’soon to be filmed’ American film version of ‘Le Petomane’ and has tentatively refused a stunt double. I have it on good authority that he is holed up in some villa overlooking Lake Garda in Italy, practicing his technique.
I hope he has adequate insurance cover, as in the case of one Simon Tup, affectionately known as ‘The Farting Blacksmith’, through uncommon exertion while accompanying the song ‘Blow High, Blow Low,’ unfortunately broke a blood vessel of which he instantly died.
More of this story later.