Dudley Andrew is a renowned film theorist in the twenty first century. He published several books and articles about film studies that are widely used in academia and film industry. His article, Adaptation, was first published in 1984 in a book called Concepts in Film Theory. Adaptation in film industry had not received much attention at the time when the article was published. In the article, Andrew uses the semiotics of Ernet Gombrich and Nelson Goodman to investigate crucial issues related to adaptation with particular focus on adaptation from literature to film. Such work helps readers to understand the difficulties in transforming a written work into film. My aim is to give an overview of Andrwe’s work and to assess its overall appeal to scholars and critics.
From the very beginning, Dudley Andrew probes the mysteries surrounding the loose use of the word adaptation in film. He gives brief and yet a wide scope introduction about the intricate usage of adaptation and its representation to film studies. Adaptation is akin to “interpretation theory, for in a strong sense adaptation is the appropriation of a meaning from a prior text” (Andrew 453). If we take Jacques Derrida’s notion that translation creates another original text, then this is a well-established comparison. For decades, critics and scholars have varied opinions and disputes over the classification and meaning of adaptation in films in which sparked interests of scholars to attempt to define and classify the word adaptation. Adaptation, according to Andrew, is the practice of transforming a written work of art to come up with a new form of art, film.
The article was written as a reaction to a ...
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...alysis (460). This is also one of the moments where the article lacks proper justification as he invokes several thoughts without persuasively approaching them.
While Andrew deals with theoretical concepts, he succeeds in writing an intelligible scholarly piece that attempts to deal with difficult hypotheses in complex forms and try to simplify them to the majority of readers. Moreover, he points to new directions for film studies in a hope that such endeavors might shed some lights on possible and new avenues. Andrew’s article is not only a valuable addition to film studies, but also to literary adaptation as well. It is a remarkable feat to art forms for coming of age scholars and critics. Though it lacks extensive methodology, it examines interesting issues related to film adaptation. Andrew’s intelligence and wit made this work an enjoyable piece to be read.
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