What’s right is Write, right?

Sorry this is a little late guys, I clearly do not know how to set up future posts in wordpress : /

Who says what’s written is right?

McFarlane’s indeed has the right idea about fidelity criticism. It’s true that whatever is written or whatever the price of writing is that is adapted into a film is the “right” way that the material should be approached or interpreted. All fidelity criticism depends on a notion of the text as having and rendering up to the (intelligent) reader a single, correct ‘meaning’ which the filmmaker has adhered to or in some sense violated or tampered with” (McFarlane 8). The assumption that the literature is the only “intelligent” form that the material can exist in is problematic. Film is too often viewed as a dumbed down version of what is written but film begins with written words. Faithfulness is important but it’s not the only way of determining a films worth or intelligence in relation to its source material. I wonder why this comparison is always the first one made? Why is it not judged on the two feet it was given to stand on rather than the two feet that the book or comic was given. It is not fair to judge the merit of something only on what it’s based on. It’s important to examine a film as another form rather than a muddled one.

Also it is important to think about the source material that is being adapted, what about its merit WITHOUT the adapted form to compare it too? Is the Great Gatsby (novel) better now that it has been compared to the Robert Redford and Sam Waterson version that some find dull and boring OR will it be worse after being compared to the new Baz Lerman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire version coming out this Christmas? I guess I am asking is merit always deserved?

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One Response to What’s right is Write, right?

  1. I think this idea about the “single, correct ‘meaning’” is very important–there’s an assumption in a lot of talk about adaptation that we’re even talking about the same thing when we mention a novel’s title. McFarlane seems to suggest that that’s not at all the case.

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