• From Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

I wasn’t as shocked as some of my peers when I learned that Twentieth Century Fox was remaking Dog Days, Ulrich Seidl’s discomforting fiction-documentary hybrid from 2001, and as a children’s film no less. Scattered throughout Hollywood history are unlikely remakes of foreign classics: Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai inspired the pulpy western The Magnificent Seven, Steven Soderbergh converted Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris (made famous by Andrei Tarkovsky’s art-film adaptation) into straight science-fiction, and Chris Rock recently fashioned a comedy vehicle for himself out of Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon. The Seidl remake—retitled Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, so as to avoid confusion with the original—would be its own thing, I figured. It probably wouldn’t be as good, but Seidl’s devastating portrait of suburban life was sure to gain something from being transposed from an Austrian setting to an American one.