Film Adaptation » Dudley Andrew course blog for ENG 781 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:24:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 In The Spirit of Fidelity Sat, 29 Sep 2012 20:55:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Dudley Andrew in Well-Worn Muse discusses the fidelity of adaptation. He states that “Unquestionably the most frequent and most tiresome discussion of adaptation (and of film and literature relations as well) concerns fidelity and transformation. Here it is assumed that the task of adaptation is the reproduction in cinema of something essential about an original text; we have a clear-cut case of a film trying to measure up to a literary work, or of an audience expecting to make such a comparison.”(Andrew 12). I think Andrew is trying to say that when dealing with film adaptation we have expectations of what it should be as well as what we expect the audience to expect it to be. However he goes on to say that this issue goes deeper. He explains that creating a “skeleton of the original can. More or less thoroughly, become the skeleton of a film.” (12) So if creating eh skeleton is accurate and more plausible to create, then what is challenging? Andrew says its the difficulty lies in the “fidelity to the spirt,” the essence of the original, the feelings and tones it evoked. I feel this is where the hard questions get asked and what ultimately most people wish to know. Is it faithful to the original? Is it as GOOD as the original? WHY are they adapting this? HOW will they adapt this? I think keeping in the spirit of things is always the most difficult thing to convey honestly to the audience. When I say honestly I don’t mean that those who are adapting this work don’t want to achieve this spiritual fidelity, I mean that the audience dismisses the work that was done on the part of the adaptors because of allegiances they have to the source material or the aforementioned comparisons that Andrew discuses that we expect to make as the audience. This goes back to Bazin when he talked about a proper adaptation and how “All it takes is for the filmmakers to have enough visual imagination to create the cinematic equivalent of the style of the original, and for the critic to have the eyes to see it.” So what happens when the greatest and most critical of all critics, the audience, doesn’t see it?

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