Did you know that many popular American movies are actually remakes of French films?
The French 353 Comparative Cinema class, led by Professor Sharon Wilkinson, has been learning about cultural differences between France and the United States by comparing some of these pairs of films. And what better way to show off what we’ve learned than to try our hand at adapting English-language short films for a French audience?
Want to see an example? First, watch this Australian short called “Bruce Lee Played Badminton Too.”
The students’ task was to analyze the cultural elements of this short film (such as the choice of sports, the choice of stereotypes, and the type of ending) and then to find a way to adapt these elements to a French audience.
The students worked in groups of three to produce their remake. They interviewed our French Fulbright teaching assistant, Rosa Bathia, to find out what kind of changes would make their version more “French.”
They learned that individual sports such as judo, biking, or even ballet, would be more typical in France than badminton. Some groups adapted the stereotypes of parental roles to be more French with a demanding, strict mother and an understanding father, according to Rosa’s advice.
All groups adjusted the ending of their film to be more realistic, ambiguous, or tragic, in keeping with the examples studied in class. Then they wrote their script, filmed their story, and edited the footage, making use of special effects and music.
Check out their work on our YouTube channel and below.