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Cinematic Theatricality and Politics through Adaptation

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2015, 28(1), pp.127-148
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Moonyoung Chung 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Harold Pinter’s screenplay, The Comfort of Strangers (1991), based upon Ian McEwan’ novel(1981), is one of his screenplays which proves his success as a screenwriter and which creates another more powerful work of art than the original novel. The Comfort of Strangers begins and ends with Robert’s telling of his Oedipal story, and Pinter seems to emphasize Robert as the protagonist over Mary. But this paper argues that Pinter shifts his emphasis from Robert to Mary, by pointing out the facts that the seer who watches the last scene of Robert’s storytelling is Mary and Pinter tried to find an alternate ending of Mary back in London. It is Mary who is forced to see and to grasp something intolerable and unbearable which outstrips the sensory-motor schema of the classic cinema. Thus this paper argues that Pinter’s adaptation can transform the novel into a modern cinema of the seer, a political cinema articulated in Deleuze’s theory of cinema. And it asserts that he can find a line of flight which can liberate the film from both the closed circuit of naturalistic cinema and the spectacle of theatricality, thanks to the intermediality of novel, theatre, and cinema and the interaction of politics and sexual politics.

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