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The Mandela Effect

Edward

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For modern generations I think a part of The Mandela Effect is caused by the entertainment we watch and listen to. How many comedians or impressionists have done some version of James Cagney saying, "You dirty rat!" or Cary Grant saying, "Judy, Judy, Judy!"? Our minds record the information and, eventually, things get confused and we're convinced we've actually seen or heard James Cagney or Cary Grant utter those very words when, in fact, it never happened. This doesn't explain every instance, but it must surely explain some of them.

I think often a parody or impression is raised to pop-culture icon and remains so long after the source material is gone, enhancing the effect you reference. One of my PhD students is currently writing up a thesis on the regulatory issues relating to fan-fiction and fan-made works more broadly. In that context, he's referenced a known instance of a screening of The Princess Bride at which a lot of the audience who had never seen the film were suddenly realising where a lot of memes with which they were very familiar had come from. On the Cry Baby dvd, there's a great interview with John Waters in which he talks about how he was basically making an Elvis picture, then it went out in cinemas and much of the audience were kids who'd formed the original Johnny Depp fanbase when he was in 21 Jump Street; they'd never seen an Elvis picture, and found their own thing in it. I've seen similar happen with Indy and much else. Of course, the best stuff works both on its own level and at the level of pastiche / satire. I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in the cinema in December '88 when it was a new release in the UK. Enjoyed it a lot. Revising it twenty-odd years later on DVD, my own reference points had changed and suddenly I actually 'got' a lot of the noir references. I'd had enough classic-cinema experience as a fourteen-year-old to have a bit of an idea of the aesthetic, but nothing like enough to see how clever a lot of it was. As an adult, I also had a clearer idea of why my mother in particular found it a touch risque for what was billed, locally, as "a kids' film".
 

Tiki Tom

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One of my PhD students is currently writing up a thesis on the regulatory issues7 relating to fan-fiction and fan-made works more broadly.

I find this interesting. IMHO, a lot of fan fiction does a good job of putting its finger on the atmospherics of what made the original so compelling in the first place… while taking liberties with some of the details.
 

Edward

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I find this interesting. IMHO, a lot of fan fiction does a good job of putting its finger on the atmospherics of what made the original so compelling in the first place… while taking liberties with some of the details.

It's fascinating stuff. I'm looking forward to when it's done and he gets the book out.
 

Hercule

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I find this interesting. IMHO, a lot of fan fiction does a good job of putting its finger on the atmospherics of what made the original so compelling in the first place… while taking liberties with some of the details.

Certainly when and if done right. Fan fiction isn't as easy as one might think. One can all too readily get caught up in a vicious trap of tropes, and departing from the canon takes imagination and courage. It's a little like playing with fire when you take on iconic stories. In my opinion, the Peanuts Movie of 2015 was just such a fan fiction in that regard. Once upon a time I set out to write a sequel to Casablanca and it bogged down once the tropes had run their course and I had to actually break new ground. A fun exercise nonetheless, and it provided a much needed distraction at the time. I certainly didn't (and still don't) have any aspirations for it. Actually, I still go back to it on occasion.
 

Tiki Tom

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Once upon a time I set out to write a sequel to Casablanca and it bogged down once the tropes had run their course and I had to actually break new ground. A fun exercise nonetheless, and it provided a much needed distraction at the time. I certainly didn't (and still don't) have any aspirations for it. Actually, I still go back to it on occasion.

Stick with it! I would love to see a quality Casablanca sequel that could somehow hold onto the ambiance.
 

LizzieMaine

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The key to fan fiction is not to ever take it too seriously, no matter how seriously it insists on taking itself. It's meant to be a fun diversion, and if you're the kind of person who's ever laid awake at night wondering what would happen if the TARDIS landed in the middle of Stalag 13, you can get a lot of fun out of it. But as soon as it becomes a pedantic exercise in canonicity, the joy is gone, both for the writer and the reader.
 

Hercule

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The key to fan fiction is not to ever take it too seriously, no matter how seriously it insists on taking itself. It's meant to be a fun diversion, and if you're the kind of person who's ever laid awake at night wondering what would happen if the TARDIS landed in the middle of Stalag 13, you can get a lot of fun out of it. But as soon as it becomes a pedantic exercise in canonicity, the joy is gone, both for the writer and the reader.

True, but be careful saying that to a writer of fan fiction. Some of them are quite serious about it and no doubt more than a few harbor visions of a screenplay offer. Though it needn't be pedantic where the canon is concerned, and it depends on the genre that you're cribbing from - TV or cinema. With TV one is merely creating another episode. It's with a movie that you can push the limits. Admittedly the hard part is getting past where the cannon left off.

Stick with it! I would love to see a quality Casablanca sequel that could somehow hold onto the ambiance.

Thank you for the encouragement, however, I'm not inclined to. I'm not the one to write the sequel to Casablanca. (The irony is that I refuse to read fiction. But I do enjoy writing it on occasion. It's fun to be creative in that way and it's a nice change from my usual writing style which is much more academic.) Besides it has already been done. I think the title was "As Time goes by" written by a NY Times book reviewer. I could be wring about that though. I even tried reading it but my aversion to reading fiction kicked in and I didn't get past but a few pages. As for a sequel to the movie, I think I has also been said that Sirroco was the un-acknowledged sequel. Anyway, writing fan fiction makes for a fun diversion - the characters and characterization is already there and all that need be done is to create a new story, or pick up where one has left off. There's an archive of FF on the net somewhere. Fanfiction.net I think (? - I haven't been there in years.) some of the story lines are interesting and entertaining to read.
 

ChiTownScion

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Stick with it! I would love to see a quality Casablanca sequel that could somehow hold onto the ambiance.

One thing that could be done differently in a remake is to have uniformed Germans in the cafe singing the Horst Wessel Lied (the Nazi party anthem) before they were drowned out by the French singing La Marseillaise.

That was the original intent of the writers. But the Horst Wessel song was copyrighted, and Warner Brothers attorneys were concerned about lawsuits in neutral countries where the film would be distributed. The armed forces of the Reich could apparently be dealt with on the battlefields, but the thought of incurring the wrath of Hitler's lawyers inspired appeasement: the song Die Wacht Am Rhein was in the public domain, so it was used instead.

Kind of a silly alternative, really. The latter song was published 35 years before Hitler's birth and had fallen out of popular use by the time of the Second World War. And actually, uniformed German armed forces officers singing the Horst Wessel Lied in a public venue outside of Germany would likely not have happened. Possibly "Wir fahren gegen Engeland" is more realistic.
 
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Tiki Tom

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Reading the Wikipedia description of the film “Sirocco”, it sounds like it lacks the reluctant idealism and ultimate redemption of Casablanca, which was (I think) a big part of Casablanca’s success. Another film that is Casablanca-esque, is “Havana”, starring Robert Redford. Havana starts off wonderfully, capturing the mood quite nicely, but eventually the plot starts to drift and meander and, again, it does not stick the landing in regards to idealism and redemption, although it tries.
 

belfastboy

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And Sarah Palin never said “I can see Russia from my house.” That was, of course, uttered by Tina Fey in that brilliant parody on SNL back in 2008. Yet some still attribute it to the former Alaska governor.
I will probably get slapped for this but 'fan fiction' is what passes for news on most (all?) of the main stream media these days....regardless of the ideological bent.
 
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I will probably get slapped for this but 'fan fiction' is what passes for news on most (all?) of the main stream media these days....regardless of the ideological bent.
Ain't that the truth. If I turn on the news at all, it's only to see if someone has started WWIII yet, then to check the weather (more fiction), then maybe a traffic report. Other than that, it's all pretty useless.
 

Haversack

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I think one of the reasons that attempted sequels to Casablanca feel somewhat flat is that they lack the immediacy of the original. They fall short in capturing the zeitgeist of 1941-42 without unintentional 'chronocentric' bias. Rather like how some historical costume movies can look really good when they are released but end up look very dated after a few years once current fashions change.

Regarding Die Wacht am Rhein: I've always been amused by its use in Casablanca as it dates from the 1840s and is about defending the Germanies against invasion by the French. I learned the song from a college songbook dated 1895 which I found in my dorm's library back in the '70s. However it used the tune for O Tanenbaum instead of the one used the movie. Good counter-point with the Marseillaise though.
 

Hercule

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One thing that could be done differently in a remake is to have uniformed Germans in the cafe singing the Horst Wessel Lied (the Nazi party anthem) before they were drowned out by the French singing La Marseillaise.

That was the original intent of the writers. But the Horst Wessel song was copyrighted, and Warner Brothers attorneys were concerned about lawsuits in neutral countries where the film would be distributed. The armed forces of the Reich could apparently be dealt with on the battlefields, but the thought of incurring the wrath of Hitler's lawyers inspired appeasement: the song Die Wacht Am Rhein was in the public domain, so it was used instead.

Kind of a silly alternative, really. The latter song was published 35 years before Hitler's birth and had fallen out of popular use by the time of the Second World War. And actually, uniformed German armed forces officers singing the Horst Wessel Lied in a public venue outside of Germany would likely not have happened. Possibly "Wir fahren gegen Engeland" is more realistic.

There are a couple of books on the movie Casablanca and the making thereof, have you read them? I have and they're worth tracking down if you have any interest in the movie. I don't remember any copyright issue re Horst Wessel Lied. I'm not saying it wasn't the issue, I just don't remember that aspect. I do remember that there was a specific desire not to stoke or flaunt any sympathetic German political sentiment, which Horst Wessel certainly could have done. Not at all a silly alternative. Wacht am Rhein fit in quite well and appropriately in my opinion in the scenario of soldiers drinking and singing old army and sentimental songs. Being out of print/publication really has no bearing on whether or not it remained in the public conscience. For what it's worth Soldaten Liederbuch editions well into the 40s included many obscure and out of date 19th century songs.

If only singing in bars and restaurants were an American tradition. - Years ago (in a previous life) I was in a group that toured the Carolinas with a program of 17th century German instrumental music. Early in the rehearsal process one of the members took us out into the hinterlands near Winston-Salem to an odd German/southern bbq restaurant. Well, they piped in music - oldies and even some old time hymns (I told you it was an odd place) so our eclectic group, knowing the words to most of the songs chose to sing along. Perhaps not as boisterously as at the Hofbrauhaus, but boy the looks we got from the other patrons. Fun memories.
 

Edward

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One thing that could be done differently in a remake is to have uniformed Germans in the cafe singing the Horst Wessel Lied (the Nazi party anthem) before they were drowned out by the French singing La Marseillaise.

That was the original intent of the writers. But the Horst Wessel song was copyrighted, and Warner Brothers attorneys were concerned about lawsuits in neutral countries where the film would be distributed. The armed forces of the Reich could apparently be dealt with on the battlefields, but the thought of incurring the wrath of Hitler's lawyers inspired appeasement: the song Die Wacht Am Rhein was in the public domain, so it was used instead.

Kind of a silly alternative, really. The latter song was published 35 years before Hitler's birth and had fallen out of popular use by the time of the Second World War. And actually, uniformed German armed forces officers singing the Horst Wessel Lied in a public venue outside of Germany would likely not have happened. Possibly "Wir fahren gegen Engeland" is more realistic.

Funny when you know the facts behind it like that - and yet the scene still works on screen. There was a cute little homage to this in Pennyworth's first series. The show is an 'Alfred the butler from Batman' prequel - a What Alfred Did Before Gotham. Set in a version of the Sixties in London, in a world where impliedly Britain came to a truce with Hitler in 1940ish (it hasn't - yet - given the full background), and a British Nazi group takes over the government, a similar bunch to Oswald Moseley's BUF. The Fascists singing Rule Britannia or something of that nature, drowned out by We'll Meet Again.
 

Hercule

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Funny when you know the facts behind it like that - and yet the scene still works on screen. There was a cute little homage to this in Pennyworth's first series. The show is an 'Alfred the butler from Batman' prequel - a What Alfred Did Before Gotham. Set in a version of the Sixties in London, in a world where impliedly Britain came to a truce with Hitler in 1940ish (it hasn't - yet - given the full background), and a British Nazi group takes over the government, a similar bunch to Oswald Moseley's BUF. The Fascists singing Rule Britannia or something of that nature, drowned out by We'll Meet Again.

Ah, back stories. Now there's an interesting topic to ponder with regard to all your favorite shows and movies. As are retelling stories from another point of view - there have been a few movies involving this recently, if I recall.

Alternate stories are fun too. When my son was younger, we quite enjoyed Hoodwinked.
 

Edward

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Ah, back stories. Now there's an interesting topic to ponder with regard to all your favorite shows and movies. As are retelling stories from another point of view - there have been a few movies involving this recently, if I recall.

Alternate stories are fun too. When my son was younger, we quite enjoyed Hoodwinked.

I love it when we get new versions of stories we've known forever. The comic book crowd seem to be as used to this as the folklorists. Recently the BBC did a beautifully made new version of Around the World in Eighty Days with David Tennant as Fogg. Inevitably the usual anti-Beeb crowd shrieked about 'woke' and all the rest of it, performative pant-wetting at every single change from the original. It was great, though - a fun update of the story, albeit still set in 1872. All stories get told, retold, and adapted for new times. Part of the natural evolution of things...

I've developed a particular taste for alternate / what-if historical fiction. On the more surreal end, I especially enjoyed Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, which without contradicting any actual historical fact as we know it, weaves a lot of fun stuff through the background. The film was ok, but sadly nothing close to the genius of the book. Perhaps one that would make an excellent Netflix show with more time for nuance and detail...
 

Harp

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I think one of the reasons that attempted sequels to Casablanca feel somewhat flat is that they lack the immediacy of the original. They fall short in capturing the zeitgeist of 1941-42 without unintentional 'chronocentric' bias.

Then too veracity speaks eloquently but is all too often ignored. 'Chronocentrism' be that however
understood is frankly mere rhetorical lexicon guise for collective societal intellectual fault.
Whatever astigmatism at play aside standards have fallen, leaving core moral and philosophical
issues trounced by hedonism, laxity, and decided immaturity.
 
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