Analyse The Transpostion Of One Literary Text To Film, Discussing Which Features Of The Literary Text Are Cut In The Process And Which Features Are Focus Upon/Expanded. I Have Chosen To Analyse Chapter One Of The English Patient Entitled The Villa

1600 words - 6 pages

I have chosen to analyse chapter One of The English Patient entitled The Villa. I have chosen to discuss only aspects of the chapter that have been transposed into the film and look at the mise-en-shot involved and the use of sound as narrative within that.The novel is written by Michael Ondaatje, published in 1992 and winner of the 1992 Booker Prize. The genre of the film text is a romance/drama and the writer of the screenplay and director is Anthony Minghella (1996), the film scooped a handful of the prestigious Academy Awards. The runtime of the movie is 160 minutes and is a UK certificate 15. The locales of The English Patient is set in Italy and Tunisia.The literary text is told in a third person, reliable narrative throughout and in the film text, being a classical Hollywood movie, it adopts the objective camera, whereby the camera acts as an inert recorder of what happens in front of it. This was the most employed narrative perspective, personal-perspective shots were infrequent but there were a few high-angles and two-shots included also. Orchestral music is used in the background and worked in harmony with the actions of the actors.Sri Lankan born Ondaatje moved to Canada in 1962 where he now works in York University. He is the author of three collections of poems and four novels. The English Patient was a great choice for film adaptation because of the haunted love story centred around an event of searing drama set in exotic locales and the cinematic vividness. Above all, it is a supremely verbal construction, 'almost a poem disguised as a novel'. Ondaatje's beautiful use of language is most prominent in the novel. He trusted and loved Minghella's directorial instincts;"the choices made here aren't so much about the politics of the movie-makers, they're about the technical limits of film− a medium that can also give us something quite devastating by saying less. Anthony, obviously, was very aware of this and he took some of the stuff that he couldn't put in and worked it into the fabric of the other characters...What Anthony did was incredible. He had to make it completely differently, but it seems to be the same." (Ondaatje, 1996)Born to Italian parents on the Isle of Wight, Anthony Minghella started as a playwright because he wanted to write music but the only way to get into the theatre writing music was to write plays which had music in them. He is a very English film-maker with an intriguing touch of the exotic and known for his theme of love.Minghella cuts to the love affair at the heart of the book and trims back the parallel plots, he lessens the mystery element and skilfully reduces the book's endless, ever-tightening flashbacks. Finally, he makes cautious but astute use of Ondaatje's glorious language, avoiding the excessively external and 'literary' device of voiceover by turning some of the novel's most lyrical lines into dialogue. Minghella on film authorship;"the process of writing in cinema is in three stages I...

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