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How Has Heckerling Transformed The First Few Pages Of 'emma' To The Opening Of 'clueless' ?

2196 words - 9 pages

By transforming Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” to the movie “Clueless”, Heckerling takes note of the fact that values have dramatically changed between the 19th and 20th century, and many of the values in Austen’s time is now seen as very outdated compared to the values we now live by in modern society. Heckerling has transformed the first few pages of “Emma” to the opening of “Clueless” by adapting the text into a new medium (book to film), audience (adults to teenagers) and context (19th Century, England to 20th Century, America). By doing this, Heckerling also transforms the values, morals and ideals of ‘Emma’ so that the modern-day audience can better relate to “Clueless” as they will more likely pick up on the ironies and humour compared to picking it up in the original text “Emma”. Even though Heckerling has transformed “Emma” to a more modern text, there are some values and themes that still remain, such as - relationships, deception, social structure, wealth and love.In the opening of “Clueless”, there is a active-sounding pop-rock music in the background and very vibrant colours are seen. Heckerling does this in the opening to imply a change of audience as the rapid-paced music and vibrant colours imply a sense of fun, carefree and immaturity, therefore successfully establishing to the audience that teenagers is the targeted audience, not adults. Heckerling has modified the first paragraph in “Emma” with mosaic-like shots of Cher having fun at the beginning of the opening scene in “Clueless”. We see shots of Cher and her friends partying, eating, shopping and driving. In all of the shots, Cher is either in the middle or by herself - in short, all the attention is directed at her. Also, the song, ‘Kids of America’, used along with the montage of shots immediately creates irony as the first few opening scenes completely contradicts the song which is about and ordinary American kid’s life. The fast camera movement suggests that the camera is hand-held and looks like as if Cher is the one moving it with her voiceover, she is showing us ‘her world’. Heckerling’s “Clueless” presents a modern setting.As the song begins to fade out, we have Cher’s voiceover and she comments on how the montage of shots looks like a ‘Noxzema commercial’ to us before stating, ‘…but seriously, I actually have a WAY normal life for a teenage girl. I mean- I get up, I brush my teeth and I pick out my school clothes!’. Again, this creates irony and humour as we see her picking her school clothes using a computer to match her clothes for her. By doing this, Heckerling is indeed showing that Cher is ‘…handsome… and rich’, ‘…seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence’ and ‘…lived…in a world with very little to distress or vex...

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