Our first day at the conference is devoted to the SIGs pre-conference events and, being in the Literature, Media and Cultural Studies committee, this is the one I always atttend. Also, this is the one closer to my professional interests and by and large the most interesting one 🙂
This year our topic as ‘The Film of the Book’ and presenters focussed on different aspects of having film adaptations of novels.
The day started with Alan Pulverness defending the idea that we should stop seing film adaptations as mere versions of the book but should see them as different art manifestations. He pointed out that, in general, disdain for adaptations come from both the literary criticism side and also from the side those in cinematic arts, especially because of what he called the ‘fallacy of fidelity.’ He referred then to Olivier’s idea that his ‘Hamlet’ as an essay on the play. He also referred to Wagner’s concepts of transposition – commentary – analogy to illustrate different ways in which books can be rendered in to film. Alan then highlighted specific aspects to be considered when analysing adaptations: the grammar of the narrative, the nature of the representation and the time and temporality aspect.
The second presenter was Jane Sherman who brought us a series of activites to be used when (a) you do the book and use the film as support, (b) do the film and use the book as support, or (c)when you work with parallel scenes and extracts. Her main point was that it is possible to develop template activities that you can use with any book or film and where the students are the ones who do almost all the work, instead of the teacher 🙂
Rob Hill came next and presented on using paratextual elements – such as book covers, blurbs, reviews, film posters,interviews, plot summaries etc – to enrich the work you do with both films and books. Marvellous presentation – funny and with a solid rationale behind it.
In the afternoon we had Ellie Boyadzhieva presenting activites to be used with ‘Bridget Jones’. We closed with David Hill’s workshop on different book and film versions of D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ and we were invited to explore how different directors captured the essence of Lawrence’s writing in their adaptations.
You can find material of the presentations in the Sessions section of Harrogate Online – just click on the surname of the presenter. If it is not there at the moment, it will soon be.