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Profit and production : Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on film

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Title: Profit and production : Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on film
Author: Barcsay, Katherine Eva
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Film Studies
Copyright Date: 2008
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2009-02-26
Subject Keywords adaptation; Jane Austen; Pride and Prejudice
Abstract: Adaptation from literature to film has always been a much criticized enterprise, with fidelity criticism, or an attempt to discredit fidelity criticism, often driving the critical discussion. However, this type of thinking is somewhat limited, becoming circular and going nowhere productive. Instead, taking into account what has come before, this thesis attempts to settle on a method of examination that moves away from fidelity criticism and towards an approach that aligns itself with cultural studies. Adaptations, then, can be seen as products of the historical, cultural, political and general socio-economic framework out of which they emerge, owing perhaps more to their context of production than to their source material. In order to provide a case study that reflects this idea, this paper looks to an author who has been adapted on multiple occasions, Jane Austen, and examines her as a cultural construct. Looking at Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice, and using Robert Z. Leonard’s Pride and Prejudice (1940), Cyril Coke’s Jane Austen ‘s Pride and Prejudice (1980), Simon Langton’s Pride and Prejudice (1995), Andrew Black’s Pride and Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy (2003), Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice (2004) and Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice (2005), the thesis argues that the appeal of Austen is a result of her cult status and economic viability, and also the malleability of her text, which allows filmmakers to use it in a number of different contexts, while still embodying the source material.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/5152

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