Most of the stories that resonate with us are not original. We enjoy the familiar in plot just as we do in music or language. The Hero’s Journey template, for instance runs through a vast majority of the stories that we continue to tell and thereby the films that we make and watch. This week we’ll be looking directly at this process of remaking and reviving stories. Show Boat (1936) was the first film adaptation of the musical adaptation (1927) of a novel by Edna Ferber (1926). The story saw two other adaptations, one in 1929 not based on the musical, and one in 1951 based on the musical. The Yearling (1946) is the first of two film adaptations of a book written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings about Florida cracker life just 15 miles from Oak Hall. Ip Man 葉問 (2008) was the first film of a four film series (to date) about the titular Ip Man 葉問, the Kung Fu master who famously taught Bruce Lee. Ip Man has been the subject of an astonishing eight feature films since 2008, with no signs of that momentum abating. The Red Shoes (1948) is a film based upon the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale of the same name which features a ballet of the same name within the film. Lastly, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 臥虎藏龍 is a fascinating Chinese diaspora film made as an homage to the Wuxia 武俠 (martial hero) genre of literature, television, and film dating back millennia throughout Chinese culture.
The notes have been sadly vacant of activity – endeavour to post your initial note response early and then check back to respond to everyone else for the “seminar” portion.