LITERATURE AND FILM- A GUIDE TO THE THEORY AND PRACTICE; Stam, Robert, Raengo, Alessandro. Print
The film adaptation calls up the question of how we speak about the film adaptation of novels. The conventional language of adaptation criticism has often been profoundly moralistic, rich in terms that imply that the cinema has somehow done a demonstrates, one might easily imagine any number of positive trapes for adaptation, yet the standard rhetoric has often deployed an elegiac discourse of loss, lamenting what has been “lost’’ in the transition from novel to film while ignoring what has been “gained”.
A second source to adaptation derives from dichotomous thinking that presumes a rivalry between film and literature. The writer and the film maker , according to an old anecdote, are traveling in the same boat but they both harbor a secret desire to throw the overboard. The inter-art relation is seen as a Darwinian struggle to the death rather than a dialogue offering mutual benefitand cross-fertilization. Adaptation becomes a zero-sum game where film is perceived as the upstart enemy storming the ramparts of literature.In Freudian terms , film is seen in terms of Bloom’s “ anxiety of influence’’whereby the adaptation as Oedipus son symbolically slays the source-text as “ father’’.
A third source of hostility to adaptation is iconophobia. This deeply rooted cultural prejudice against the visual arts is traceable not only to the Judiac-Muslim-Protestant prohibitions of “ graven images’’ , but also to the Platonic and Neoplatonic depreciation of the world of phenomenal appearance.
The field of film do not exist in vaccum, they are conceived , produced, distributed and consumed within specific economic and social context. Without the attentive eyes and ears and active mind of the viewing audience film is incomplete , it is mere moving images and changing sounds. Film studies paves a way to develop an understanding of how films communicate meaning how as we audience both respond to films and influence the types of films made. It also gives us an insight of how industry functions in terms of ownership, control, finance and exhibition. If we look back to history we can find that Shakespeare on screen reaches from the earliest silent films made in the late 19th century. The mature successful Shakespeare film has been created mainly by six directors namely Oliver, Welles, Branagh, Kurosawa, Kozintseu and Zeffirelli who have repeatedly returned to Shakespeare as a source for their films. The collaboration between Shakespeare and Hollywood became a distinguished feature of the Shakespeare films of the 1990s. In the 1990s film rescued Shakespeare from the art house and restore his plays to the great polyglot popular audience who had originally been drawn to them at the Globe Theatre. The Shakespeare film has traditionally been aimed at the art house rather than the Cineplex audience. Shakespeare film though gigantic compared to the audience for stage Shakespeare was a specialized segment of regular filmgoers , an elite group already familiar with Shakespeare and avant-grade film tradition. The Shakespeare films revitalized the genre and brought it to new heights of artistic and commercial success.