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Film Adaptation as the Art of Expansion

The Visual Poetics of Marleen Gorris in Mrs. Dalloway

Polina Rybina    Lomonosov Moscow State University    



his article discusses changes in central metaphors through which contemporary adaptation studies strive to chart the enormous territory of film adaptations that exists today. Previously concerned with privileging literary texts over their media ‘replays’, these ‘new wave’ studies tend to prioritize other aspects of the adaptation process: intertextual overwriting (Stam 2005), reappropriation of the literary past for the sake of the present (Sanders 2015), exploitation of literature (Cartmell 2017), etc. Departing from the metaphor of ‘competition’ between media (Jameson 2011), we suggest that the adaptation process be discussed as the art of expansion. The key issue in this research lies in bringing to the forefront the filmmaker’s visual poetics and the place his/her adaptation has among other cinematic works of the same period. This article shows how Marleen Gorris’s Mrs. Dalloway (1997) reveals its ‘expansive’ potential when read both through the lens of the heritage film style and the previous filmmaker’s work, Antonia’s Line (1995).

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