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Read Introduction text version Neil Hollands. A Master's paper for the M. Carr This study tests the correlation of consumer reviews of novels and the films adapted from them to determine whether the rating of one media form can predict the rating of its partner film or novel.
A data set of movie adaptations released between andand the novels from which they came is utilized, employing information from the Internet Movie Database and Amazon.
The study finds a significant correlation between the two ratings, but a limited ability of that correlation to explain the full difference between the scores. Analysis of results defines a framework of 14 personal, creative, formal, and environmental differences between novel and film, and three key commonalities: Related actions and recommendations for further research, particularly for librarians, are suggested.
Since the film adaptations of many of these novels were not obviously terrible films, the implication was that adaptation generally fails--that the book is by its very nature superior to the resulting film. On a lower floor of the same library, in the video section, a conflicting story is told.
Here, a majority of the available films have been adapted from books.
This is not coincidental. The library has few funds for video purchases and selections are made carefully. It looks as though those who select videos believe that films from well-known books will be popular, non-controversial selections. Unless they intentionally collect substandard films, one must assume that on this floor, adapted films are desirable.
This upstairs-downstairs tale of two collections is not limited to one public library. Instead, it reflects the conflicting views with which creators, critics, information professionals, and media consumers approach adaptations.
On one hand, there is a bias toward novels--a tendency to treat them as the deeper, more legitimate form. On the other, we not only enjoy adapted films, but even go so far as to assume that if we have experienced a particular title in one form, that we are qualified to speak about the other: Literary critics and authors have sided against 2 film scholars and auteurs in a war of cultural elitism.
Early battles have gone to the side of literature. Novels are an older form, and as such, the authority behind the book has been stronger. Literature has been seen as an art, film as a mass medium. Film critics often side with the novels as well, keeping to their own literary roots.
Even movie studios have traded on literature's higher esteem in exchange for greater respectability. But as filmmaking has matured, the competition has become more evenly matched. With the advent of television, film no longer occupies the low rung on the culture ladder.
The appearance of media conglomerates that own both publishing houses and movie studios has further leveled the field. It would be misconstruing this conflict, however, to say that it is entirely external, a battle of opposing forces. The conflict is also strong inside the head of the average consumer.
This is because the basic act of adaptation has a dilemma at its heart. If an adaptation can maintain fidelity to the original, it will be criticized for being unoriginal.
If, conversely, it attempts to interpret the earlier work or provide a new twist, it will be criticized for violating the integrity of the original. So what are we to do? Clearly, there is demand; adaptation of novels into film will continue. How can filmmakers adapt novels without making critics and consumers angry or disappointed?
And what about librarians and others who select books and films for collections, who advise users and make media recommendations, who lead book and film discussions, and who try to foster an appreciation for all forms of information?
It is fine for writers, directors, and critics to engage in aesthetic debate about each adaptation, if that debate results in improved work, but librarians are not in 3 the perfection business.
Are they willing to do the same for films? This will require respect for how an aesthetically imperfect film can still serve strong needs for users. Part of gaining that respect is to understand how these films, when adapted from beloved books, are similar to those books and how the two forms are different.
I will examine these conflicts and questions in the pages that follow. I'll begin with a review of the literature about adaptation, particularly literature on the fidelity question.
With that as groundwork, I'll introduce new research on the connection between novels and their adaptations--research which shows that while a significant correlation can be shown between how people view the two forms, that correlation only explains a small part of the larger story of how we think about these novels and films.
I will analyze the many differences between the two forms and what remains to compare between them. Finally, I'll look at the implications of these findings for librarians, critics, and consumers and suggest some courses of action and further research.Bridges of Summer Disciplined Mind Madison Adair, a divorced, single mother, holds the key to finding an unknown serial killer stalking women in Miami and joins forces with FBI agent Kyle Montgomery, a man from her past, to find the murderer.
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