The disconnects are all the more puzzling when you consider all that O'Marah gets exactly right. Her tweaks can be incredibly winning: Julie's dad's broken sandals — the "Water Buffalos" — are made of cardboard; a bewigged Plimsouls cover band offers excellent coverage during the Hollywood bar scenes.
O'Marah was clearly operating with a budget one-zillionth the size of the original's, itself a cheap film by Hollywood standards. But if her lo-fi Valley Girl is to be taken as serious artwork, it raises a serious question: why remake something you love only to emphasize subtext over joy? In the 1980s a group of junior high kids devoted endless summers to a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark. They had the same flagrant disregard for copyright laws as O'Marah but no pretensions whatsoever. Their product may have been technically rough, but it was also energetic and enjoyable. Thing is, when you start putting quote marks around quote marks, fun becomes work. To the max. (Cheryl Eddy)
FIDELITY AND BETRAYAL: VARIATIONS ON THE REMAKE — VALLEY GIRL
Thurs/22, 6:30 p.m. Valley Girl (Michele O'Marah) and 8:30 p.m. Valley Girl (Martha Coolidge)
Sun/25, 2 p.m. Valley Girl (O'Marah) and 4 p.m. Valley Girl (Coolidge)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Phyllis Wattis Theater
151 Third St., SF