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Film Topics: Literature Mr. Skaar ALHS Film Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Film Topics: Literature Mr. Skaar ALHS Film Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Film Topics: Literature Mr. Skaar ALHS Film Studies

2 The filmmaker/author writes with his camera as a writer writes with his pen. Alexandre Astruc

3 Introduction Literature as applied to movies relates to the role of the written word in movies.

4 Topics of Discussion The Screenwriter The Screenplay Figurative Comparisons Point of View Literary Adaptations

5 The Screenwriter Main Author of the Film –Responsible for the dialogue –Outline most of the action –Set forth the main theme of the movie Role varies from film to film –Little or no scriptsespecially silent films –Others use only bare outline –American star system gives stars latitude in creating their own roles.

6 The Screenwriter Some directors write their own scripts –Eisenstein, Bergman (foreign) –Griffith, Chaplin, Huston, Welles, Coppola, and Woody Allen (American) American studio system encouraged multiple authorship –Specialties (dialogue, comedy, construction, atmosphere, etc.) –Doctoring weak scripts –Idea people

7 The Screenwriter Approaches to Screenwriting –Must be solemn to be respectable (e.g. John Fords Grapes of Wrath) –Eloquence not restricted to intellectuals (final scene from Casablanca) –Talky scripts (Woody Allen) Screenwriter works with director to incorporate all aspects of filmmaking into final product (photography, mise en scéne, etc.)

8 The Screenplay Rarely published as a literary product Often modified by actors (especially stars) who play roles Most screenplays are very businesslike and practical, not intended for publication, but only to provide direction for actors and crew.

9 Figurative Comparisons Figurative Technique: an artistic device that suggests abstract ideas through comparison, either implied or overt Types of Figurative Techniques: –Motifs: techniques, objects, ideas or anything else which is systematically repeated throughout a work. –Symbols: tangible things which represent abstract ideas –Metaphors: a comparison of unlike objects usually accomplished through editing in film (last scene from Psycho)

10 Figurative Comparisons Types of Figurative Techniques, cont: –Allegory: character or situation represents complex idea (Death in The Seventh Seal) –Allusions: an implied reference to a well known event, person, or work of art (Garden of Eden in East of Eden) –Homage: in film, an overt reference or allusion to another movie, director or memorable shot (The Jazz Singer in Singin in the Rain)

11 Point of View Point of view refers to the relationship between the narrator (teller of the story) and the story. Types of point of view: –First Person (narrator in the story) –Third Person (narrator an observer not in the story) Omniscient Objective

12 Point of View First Person Point of View in Film –First person narrator tells his or her own story. –Sometimes an objective observer who relates events accurately (Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby). –Sometimes a subjective account (Huck in Huckleberry Finn) –The voice of the literary narrator is replaced by the eye of the camera. –Viewer identifies more with the eye than the voice.

13 Point of View Third Person Point of View in Film –Omniscient Associated with nineteenth century novels Narrators are all-knowing observers spanning locations, time periods, and characters. Narrator can be detached or take on a personality of their own, as in Tom Jones. Omniscient narration almost inevitable in film.

14 Point of View Third Person Point of View in Film –Objective Narrator an observer but not all-knowing Simply reports the facts, does not enter the consciousness of any character. Camera records events impartially Viewers interpret for themselves Used by realistic directors who keep their camera at long shot and avoid all commentary such as angles, lenses, and filters.

15 Literary Adaptations Adaptations involve the treatment of the raw data of the subject matter Degree of fidelity determines three types of adaptations: –Loose –Faithful –Literal

16 Literary Adaptations Loose Adaptations –Only an idea, a situation, or a character is taken from a literary source, then developed independently as in Vincent Prices, Pit and the Pendulum. –Can be likened to Shakespeares use of his sources in his plays

17 Literary Adaptations Faithful Adaptations –Attempt to re-create the literary source in film terms. –Result not the same as the source, but faithful in message. –Tom Jones and Apocalypse Now good examples

18 Literary Adaptations Literal Adaptations –Usually restricted to plays and musicals written for the stage –Presents some difficulties handling space and time –West Side Story a good example

19 Additional Terms

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