McFarlane draws up a few interesting concepts regarding film adaptations. He begins with the Conrad-Griffith comparison. “Whereas Griffith used his images to tell a story,as means to understanding, Conrad (Spiegel claims) wanted the reader to “see” in and through and finally past his language and his narrative concept to the hard, clear bedrock of images.” This spark my mind and began to think of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The language used did play onto countless images in my mind. It was so vividly written, that I would think the film wouldn’t have the same impact as the powerful language. In film, can you really disect an image, like you can in a novel?

McFarlane continue’s on bringing up another interesting insight. ” As to audiences, whatever their complaints about this or that violation of the original, they havecontinued to want to see what the books ‘look like.’ Constantly creating their own mental images of the world of a novel and its people, they are interested in comparing their images with those created by the film-maker.” Do we feel that imgination is being taken away from our younger generation, with so many films so readily at hand, why read the book?

The question was posed in the 9th grade classroom today, what makes a book good? Majority of them responded that a good book has a movie made with it. They said they felt they needed to see the movie first to get an idea if they would like the book. They also said it takes too long to read a book, so why not watch the movie.

DeWitt Bodeen, “claims that: Adapting literary works to film is, without a doubt a creative undertaking, but the task requires a kind of selective interpretation, along with the ability to recreate and sustain an established mood.” It is imperative that people understand that the books are a first source, untouched, pure. Film is not only altered, but reflective of the director/s

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2 Responses to McFarlane

  1. Mike Ketive says:

    It’s interesting that McFarlane finds films to be “spatial” and literature to be “linear” because I find it to be quite the opposite to a point, as a novel can create those vivid images one “sees”, but they’re often not the same images between two people whereas in a film, the visuals are the same, though the perceptions of said visuals are not. So to answer your first question, yes, I feel as if it could be possible to dissect the imagery of a film to a point, provided we examine the meaning of these images rather than the images themselves. However, I would agree that the novel is the untouched source from which the film receives it’s life source. Does that make the novel superior? In the eyes of many, yeah, it does. But there’s a question that was brought up in another post that we really should consider: where is the line drawn between a good adaptation and a good film?

  2. “They said they felt they needed to see the movie first to get an idea if they would like the book”– wow! At least they were honest. And this might be exactly what McFarlane predicted would happen more with the idea of “intertextuality” (10).

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