cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM Plariarism v homage









Imitation Game: The Difference between Homage and plagiarism


~ Homage is not a lesser form of filmmaking — let alone a form of theft — but a natural part of loving and making cinema.


Meg Shields, Film School Rejects 12 Feb 2018


“Either a filmmaker transparently deploys a reference, or a filmmaker knowingly passes off someone elses’s work as their own.”


Though of course this would not be such an interesting subject if it was that easy.

Shield notes ‘…Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet accused del Toro of plagiarism. According to the French director, the sequence in The Shape of Water where Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins dance in unison while seated as an old musical number plays in the background was “[copy] and pasted” from Jeunet’s 1991’s art-house hit Delicatessen.’

But hold on a minute,


‘Shape of Water’ Hit With Plagiarism Allegations Following 13 Oscar Nominations


~ Paul Zindel’s son David says celebrated film is “obviously” based on late father’s play ‘Let Me Hear You Whisper’


Joyce Chen, Rollong Stone, 26 Jan 2018.


So this one alone is well-travelled:


Everything to Know About the Shape of Water Plagiarism Controversy


Eliza Berman, Time 3 March 2018


Film plagiarism accusations go way back, as have literary ones.


Any fule kno when accusations of plagiarism fly, it’s the writer not the director at the root of the problem, though when they do fly, it’s the investors and film production company that gets it in the neck. There are all sorts of cover-one’s-arses and insurances built into filmmaking, so maybe there’s one for plagiarism that thought it was homage.


My interest lies in how film writers are usually very knowledgeable about films. So many writers and writer-directors say they learnt their craft from obessively watching films from childhood. It’s part and parcel of films to refer to those that came before. Then there’s what you think to be some original storyline that disappointingly turns out to be close to something else as the writing progresses, which has to be ditched or turned into an artful homage.



June 3, 2018 - Posted by | homage, plagarism | ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: