Remaking Beyond Boundaries: the case of La Femme Nikita and Point of No Return


The following article frames a particular case-study: the question of the remake in its ontological nature, encompassing all its various forms across media. It will examine the diverse levels (cultural, linguistic and semiotic) at which remaking operates, including translation, transposition, transcreation, and adaptation. Foraging through the dense thicket of Hollywood remakes of French films, we will look at the specific example of Luc Bresson's La Femme Nikita (1990) and John Badham's American remake of it, Point of No Return (1993). The methodology will take into account the contextual landscape of remakes as linguacultural artefacts and the texts themselves, adopting both a cultural studies approach and the visual strategies of textual analysis from the perspective of film studies. This will entail a close examination of the films under consideration, paying attention to particular cinematic sequences, set in the context of technical possibilities and offset against the creative options presented by the diverse narratives of the two versions. John Badham's remake of La Femme Nikita will show how remade films tend to differ on numerous levels from the source films, thus offering what Jonathan Evans calls "an expanded understanding of audiovisual translation" (2014, 300).

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22804250v6i2p211

Keywords: adaptation; audiovisual translation; transposition; transcreation; textual analysis; visual strategies

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