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How Does The Director, Amy Heckerling, Update The Novel Of 'emma' In Her Modernised 1995 Film, 'clueless'?

2788 words - 11 pages

IntroductionAn extremely popular film, 'Clueless' was released in 1995. It was an adapted version of a famous novel by Jane Austen, 'Emma'.I will discuss about the film in this essay, on how Amy Heckerling, the director of 'Clueless', has transformed the pre-20th Century, 'almost 'ancient' compared to the style of today' novel of 'Emma', practically revolutionised it in terms of setting, language and style, and made it into a film.If you watch 'Clueless', and then read the novel of 'Emma', it's quite hard to distinguish where the similarities lie, as 'Emma' was written in the 1800s, based in a traditional, small Hampshire village, where people were reserved, snobby and arrogant. 'Clueless', on the other hand, is set in an American late 20th Century high school where people can be everything and anything that they wish to be.However, certain areas of the two plots are very much the same and the effect each character has in 'Clueless', has an almost identical effect on the plot in 'Emma'. For example, Emma Woodhouse's actions end up with her marrying Mr. Knightly; the same happens in 'Clueless', however each of the character's equivalents take on each role.The author of 'Emma', Jane Austen, was born in Steventon, Hampshire on 16th December 1775. She was the fifth child in a family of eight (six boys and two girls), but had only one sister, Cassandra. Her education consisted of learning from a private tutor at a boarding school. Her father encouraged her within her education, imagination and literacy skill; among her many talents apart from writing she very much enjoyed dancing and she was also an accomplished pianist.In 1800, Jane's father decided to retire and in 1801 moved with his wife and two daughters to Bath. Jane Austen died in Winchester, Hampshire on 18th July 1817 from Addison's disease, unmarried, very much like her elder sister.Although Austen's books are over 200 years old, many are still enjoyed and read today for their funny observations of characters and intricate plots, as they were in the early 19th Century. 'Emma' was actually "respectfully dedicated" to Prince Regent (later King George IV)!Many of her novels have been updated and remade into films; the most obvious being 'Clueless', inspired by 'Emma', 'Bridget Jones' Diary', inspired by 'Pride and Prejudice'. She began writing around the age of twelve and many of her most popular novels were published over ten years after they were written, such as 'Sense and Sensibility' (1811), 'Mansfield Park' (1814), 'Northanger Abbey' (1818) and 'Persuasion' (1818).On the other hand almost 175 years later, Amy Heckerling, the director of 'Clueless' was born on 7th May 1954. She studied in the New York High School of Art and Design, the New York Institute of Film and Television (New York University) and the American Film Institute of Los Angeles California.Heckerling's first feature length effort was the smash hit 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'. This first film dubbed her as a youth-market...

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