The Well-Worn Muse

I feel like I’ve discussed this before when I commented on the reviews of Adaptation.

He says, “While all representational films function this way…(10). When he says “representational films, he’s talking about one kind of film, right? Representational is just one type of film? From the quote, I get the feeling like there are different categories of film and representational is just one kind. Again, going back to my comment on the reviews of Adaptation, I feel as if everything is representational, especially since, “our consciousness is not open to the world but filters the world according to the shape of its ideology” (9). What we see in a film is just a representation of another text and we are creating a representation of the representation we’re seeing using our own text to “interpret” and perceive, thereby, creating our own representation.

He says, “We can and do correctly match items from different system all the time.” I never thought about it that way. I’ve been thinking about it intellectually, as if this theory exists in a thought cloud above my head. But all theory wants to look at the things we take for granted. It never crossed my mind to think of adaptation so casually. If we transplant adaptation for translation, we can say that we are constantly translating our lives, or we are adapting the things we experience — interpreting them through the systems we’re already working with.

Intersection. What do we think about Intersection? I understand his interpretation of intersection, but I disagree: “Here the uniqueness of the original text is preserved to such an extent that it is intentionally left unassimilated in adaptation. The cinema, as a separate mechanism, records its confrontation with an ultimately intransigent text” (11). Is there such a thing as an intransigent text? The fact that we are translating the text into another medium means that it cannot be intransigent, regardless of if Andrew thinks that cinema, in terms of intersection, just records. There is no such thing as just recording, because the point of view isn’t held in the camera, it’s held in the viewer. Here Andrew want to see cinema is passive (juxtaposed to fidelity which is active), but it’s not, because you still have to “translate” that so-called intransigent text to another media, which requires some of thought about how to translate one set of signs working within a particular system to another set of signs working within a particular system. Here, I feel as if Andrew contradicts himself. I could be wrong. If I am, how do we reconcile intersection with the act of translation that the original text goes through? Are we getting a text with pictures or are we getting cinema? Of course we getting cinema.

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One Response to The Well-Worn Muse

  1. I think by “representational” he means realistic, narrative kinds of film where images are meant to represent real-world things (as opposed to, say, abstract films, where images or colors are not meant to represent any specific thing). That distinction is a big part of the film Adaptation, which obsesses over styles of representation, even as our screenwriter character wants to make a “pure” (abstract?) film.

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