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U of Penn Professor speaks on film adaptations

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April 8, 2013

Timothy Corrigan, professor of English and cinema studies at the University of Pennsylvania, delivered his lecture, “Alligators, Adaptation, and Adaptation Studies Today,” presenting a scholarly take on the way films are adapted from works from other media and how that process has changed over time.

Using clips from the 2002 Spike Jonze film, Adaptation, and others, Professor Corrigan  discussed how the idea of adapting books into film has evolved.  He cited three developments that have affected the change: The increase in the adaptation for the screen of classical texts; the proliferation of blockbuster films based on popular works such as the Harry Potter books and Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring series; and the ever-increasing reliance on less traditional source material, such as cartoons, video games and graphic novels.

Film adaptations do not so much reflect their sources as much as refract them, he said, with varying levels of fidelity. “It’s not duplication, but more refraction as an act of criticism,” he said.

The program was sponsored by BSU’s Film Studies Program. (Story by John Winters, G ’11, University Advancement)

Professor Corrigan