The difference between remakes and remakes

This is just me thinking out loud.

There's been a lot of press coverage surrounding the Coen brothers' new film True Grit, and the word "remake" has been bandied about a lot by the critics and twitics. I'm a little uncomfortable with that word, as it serves as a blanket term for two very different kinds of film-making, and insinuates one with the qualities of the other.

Currently, it refers to both a film adapted from another film and a film adapted from another medium that happens to have been adapted before. The latter is a reinterpretation of a common source, much like a new interpretation of a play. In theatre, new stagings are welcome, but in cinema it's often perceived as a symptom of a dearth of new ideas.

The ambiguity of the word often complicates the reading of a film. For example, some are comparing the 2010 True Grit to the 1969 True Grit, as if that was the source material, as if it were the definitive version. They should be viewed as distinct, and equally valid interpretations of Charles Portis' original text.

So we need a new word. And before anyone suggests it, I should point out that "reimagining" is not valid, as it's become synonymous with "appalling drop in quality of Tim Burton films".