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Exploring the History of the Cinematic ‘Remix’

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The recent blockbuster movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was beloved by fans and critics alike—but most agreed that the film borrowed too heavily from the franchise’s first movie, A New Hope. While some might argue that this sameness in plot structure makes the film suffer; the “remix” method of copying, transforming, or combining major plot points has a precedent in film history. (There is a difference, of course, between paying homage and outright plagiarism for the sake of satiating the masses.) Pop culture expert Kirby Ferguson created a popular video series, “Everything Is a Remix,” which explores this exact idea. Using The Force Awakens as an example, Ferguson digs into director J.J. Abrams’ use of the “remix” concept in the video below, exploring whether the method works or doesn’t. At the bottom, find a 35-minute condensed version of Ferguson’s entire “Remix” series, which we highly recommend watching.