One of my sources for Project Brief 4 was a book titled, True to the Spirit: film adaptation and the question of fidelity, by Colin MacCabe, Kathleen Murray and Rick Warner.
The following are the notes I took that have helped me to better understand what is meant by “textual analysis”. This reading will be invaluable going forward with analysing the different adaptations of Romeo & Juliet, as I intend to incorporate these analytical tools into my work on this brief.
- “First error: critics claim films have a duty to be faithful to a literary source. Second error: Critics ignore the unique language of cinema and thus do not acknowledge a filmic adaptation to be an independent cinematic work.”-p41
- “acknowledge film adaptations as specifically cinematic, rather then viewing them simply as translations into another medium of the essence of the work”-p42
- NOTE: Shakespeare seen as highly academic while adaptations lose the essence of this
- “Transformation that takes place between the source text and the final film. This includes changes made in the story as well as the more subtle transformations involved in the transfer to another medium…“textual information”…“diverse semiotic levels”…“adjustments that take place during shooting, and quite crucially during post-production…”-p42-43
- “Innovative staging and composition, lighting, decor and styles of acting, and most importantly, a variety of means of conveying characters’ motivations or reactions, frequently occur in films that involve literary appropriation.”-p45
- *Of silent films in particular* – “order of narrative incidents… early filmic adaptations frequently retell the events in strictly chronological order, converting literary back-story into the early narrative events”-p49
- Flashbacks were introduced to film at a later date