Reading Film (Fall 2011)

a qwriting blog for ENG 110

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Bazin response

September 7th, 2011 by allymunks · 1 Comment · ¶4 Bazin

Bazin had great opinions on the matter of adaptation. He makes arguements that open up my eyes and make me question my initial reaction. I’ve always said that movies will never be as good as the books. They always fall short because not only are they given this time limit in which they have to cut out what they deem unimportant, but the books allow you to really dive into it and create your own personal vision. Who’s going to be able to compete with what we saw inside our own minds?

I guess I was being judgemental when I always assumed that the movie was a ripoff and a way to cash in on someone else’s work. Let’s face it, film making is a craft of its own. It requires its own talents and creativity and overall ability to bring a story to life. The lines that hit me the most were in the middle of the second page where Bazin says. “All it takes is for the filmakers to have enough visual imagination to create the cinematic equivalent of the style of the original, and for the critic to have the eyes to see it.” He’s more than correct. It’s not about a re-creation, it’s a filmmaker’s own creation, done with his own talents and visions to not just show every part of the book, but to captivate the most important parts. The problem with that is our own abilities as the audince to understand those attempts. We think very highly of our own opinions and if things seemed important to us, we just can’t accept that the filmmaker wouldn’t see fit to include it.

The cinematic adaptation doesn’t HAVE to follow everything to the letter. It should just get points across. Within that same segment of the essay, Bazin also mentions that in a particular movie, the audience isn’t shown with all the stories and thoughts of a character as the book provided, but rather the actress chosen to play the role shows it all in her eyes. That’s something you could never get out of the book and for details like this, film must be appreciated as an art and its maker praised for bringing it forth. How many movies haven’t we been  faced with that give us a character to really despise or love? In a book, we would be shown a series of reasons why, but in a movie, all we need is the right person to play that role.

I could go on and on about all the things Bazin mentioned but in reality, it all comes down to one very simple thing. As long as the original’s intent is honored, every adaptation is just an artist’s own depiction and should as such be respected, or if you choose, disliked. It’s a matter of personal opinion. Some will be done well and some won’t.


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One Comment so far ↓

  • martinvukaj

    your essay is very well written. your showing your opinion but your not really pushing it across the board. the sentence that struck me the most was “The cinematic adaptation doesn’t HAVE to follow everything to the letter. It should just get points across.” I totally agree with this because a film is obviously a directors point of view of how a piece of work should be adapted and you like grasped that idea. theres nothing really to argue here haha

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