Adaptations Literature / Film / TV


"The book was better than the movie." "The movie wasn't faithful to the book." "The TV series didn't capture the book like the movie did." These have forever been the complaints of readers watching their favorite works of literature adapted to the screen, and, in a media ecosystem increasingly flooded with adaptations and reboots of existing intellectual property, these complaints won't be going away any time soon. Film and literature have been interconnected since the very first films screened at end of the nineteenth century, but the dynamic between literature and media has sometimes been strained: film reviled as the cheap degradation of a vital art form, the novel anxious at the rise of narrative film - and later television - as rival storytelling media. But, viewing literature and visual media in opposition can obscure what becomes visible if we view them together. This is a course about the history, theory, and practice of adaptation from literature to film and television and back again rooted in both canonical and non-canonical case studies. We will study authors whose works have been repeatedly adapted across eras and media; filmmakers whose works are pastiches of various literary and cinematic sources; rigorously, obsessively "faithful" adaptations; radically transformative "unfaithful" adaptations; and works of literature and media that are themselves about the process and ethics of adaptation. The course will be anchored by a reading of Emily St. John Mandel's 2014 novel Station Eleven and a serial viewing - replicating the unusual original release - of HBO Max's miniseries adaptation. There will be occasional screenings Thursdays at 4 PM In Brown 100
Course Attributes: AS HUM; EN H; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Adaptations Literature / Film / TV
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