My latest incarnation of this phenomenon revolves around the cinematic deities cribbing from YouTube.
The movie Apollo 18 with its concept of a secret lunar mission and its use of aliens to explain why the United States never went back to the moon seemed eerily similar to this 2010 short movie by The Faking Hoaxer entitled We Came in Peace.
Taking ideas from other people is nothing new. In fact, it even dates back thousands of years to the creation of religious texts. On August 8 of this year, my process of ceditra, creating art through a random process (a process that is 100% my own), took me to the Torah and this following quote from 2 Kings, Chapter 4, Verse 25
So she went and came unto the man of God to Mount Caramel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite.
Quite an interesting story and one that doesn’t make the headlines like some other tale that it bears an uncanny resemblance to.
The “she” is an unnamed Shunammite (an ethnic group, perhaps?) who had once made a small room for the man of God, whose name is Elisha. As a possible repayment for her kindness of free room and board when he ever came through town, Elisha prophesied that this woman, despite having an elderly husband, would conceive by the next season. Lo, and behold, come the next year, she had a son.
I wonder if he had Elisha’s eyes.
As it happens, the boy, at some age (but old enough that he can talk) dies. The woman, distraught, goes to see Elisha (which is the quote above). There are some elements of the story that I will skip over that probably have some symbolic significance, but the end of this tale is that Elisha goes to visit the dead boy. Elisha sets his mouth upon the lifeless boy’s mouth, his eyes upon the boy’s eyes, and he lay with him. Lo, and behold (again), the boy awakes and is alive (and there was much rejoicing).
Hmmm…a man of God, a prophet one could say (perhaps even a teacher), brings a person back from the dead. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Of course it does because it is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Can one sue the creators of the religious text for plagiarism since it appears that one of the Gospels ripped off this story. It makes sense because if you want to show that Jesus was prophet like those of the Torah and associated books, then he better be able to do all of their miracles also.
Elisha does the “raise the dead” trick first, but Jesus gets the credit.
Elisha can sympathize with another Elisha, Elisha Gray, over that type of injustice.
Back to December and as I look at the theatrical release schedule for this month, I see that originality is once again on parade with the likes of the remake of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the sequel to Sherlock Holmes, the third in the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, The Adventures of Tintin, and the movies version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.