misssylviadrake (misssylviadrake) wrote,

How to study films made from different texts by the same author

Dear friends and readers,

While working on my paper on films made from Trollope's fictions, I have at long last figured out a way to study films made from different books by the same author: 1) compare and catalogue which type scenes are consistently chosen for direct transposition; 2) compare from two (or more if you've got room) books the way a scene which is only suggestively indicated by an author's text is fully realized scene in the film adaptation; 3) compare which type of scenes are invented.

What similar techniques repeat themselves will doubtless tell us more about how to please a mass audience and socially acceptable values at any one time so it's best to chose an idiosyncratic kind of scene, one typical of your author!

I've an idea this conceptual breakthrough (it happened yesterday) will not seem earth-shaking to anyone but me, will not seem of much interest perhaps.  But it is to me: I had been really not eager to finish Part 1 of my book project (5 chapters on the 5 S&S movies thus far, with an opening prologue on Austen's S&S and its relationship to Montolieu's Caroline de Lichfield and other romances of renunciation and sexual awakening) because I just couldn't figure out how to compare apples and oranges; that is, I wanted for Part 2 to choose one movie for each of the other 5 books by Austen as well perhaps as the biopics (Miss Austen Regrets from the letters and Nokes's biography) that have been filmed and compare them. But how?

Now I've got it, partly because I was forced to confront this problem immediately with Trollope.  There is no second movie extant I can watch of any single book or story.  Each movie that is available is from another book.

And what I'm doing in the last part of my Trollope paper is analysing a scene from Pallisers which is as direct a transposition as a scene can bear and one suggestively narrated which is turned into a fully dramatized semi-original scene.

I've a transposed scene from Malachi's Cove; scenes where something is adumbrated in Austen which appear remixed and elaborated with others in He Knew He Was Right (Rivers Cottage) and The Way We Live Now (break up of Breghert and Gertrude's engagement). The most interesting is the fully elaborated speech from Signora Neroni (Barchester Chronicles),

It's through acts and, from an accumulation of these, whole bodies of criticism that we create a writer's identity.

I should say the title for this paper is Prologomena to a study of film adaptations of Anthony Trollope and Victorian films: the 1974 BBC Pallisers

Tags: 18th century films, adaptations, film adaptation, jane austen films, women's films

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