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Lecture 3

EN 3070 Lecture 3: Filming Literature: Winter

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EN 3070
Ian Balfour

EN 3070 02.14.17 Lecture – The Sweet Hereafter • Tragedy, Drama, Realism • Barthes  the effect of the real o Feel it more in big novels o The realism in the sweet hereafter could be thought of as a psychological realism, concerned with the effect of the events on realism; Banks opts for multiple narrators, and narrations ▪ Why double back to Delores? ▪ Delores’s narration is the first instance of the sequence starting again; 1, 2, 3, 4, 1; open-ended/ongoing • Chooses to have Mitch Stevens be the principal figure of the texts, they don’t tell the stories to the same degree of uninterrupted flow because they’re telling it through Stevens • The camera couldn’t have 4 first person narrators, can’t have people talking to themselves so he has to invent someone that’s going to hear their stories including someone that is going to hear Mitch’s story (Allison) • Why Mitch? o The least sympathetic of the characters, comes to the town from the outside; has to learn their stories and about their lives; he’s much closer to us than any of the towns people; the audience is learning it as the outsider, the same as Mitch • What do you do with the camera work? o Objective camera work portraying “I/You” situations, sometimes given over to a character or point of view shooting o Sometimes you can have point of view that’s over the shoulder, or you can do point of view shooting/centre of consciousness when Nicole is in the car being driven by her father to do her deposition, she’s looking at him and he doesn’t know she’s looking at him • What’s omitted? o Vietnam narrative is thrown out o Does the film compensate for that in some way? In the text, it’s a big instance of trauma (the bus being the primary one); maybe replaced by the relationship of Mitch and his daughter, an incest relationship with Nicole and her father; huge motivation for Nicole’s rebellion against her father in her deposition o Demolition Derby – the first thing the director thought of filming ▪ Pathos scene at the end, providing closure ▪ In adapting the film, he saw less and less and eventually no need for the demolition derby; in the book it seems to be a personification of the town where the vehicle being crushed represents the town and the crowd cheers for it overcoming the demolition • What’s added? o Allison; someone to listen to Mitch’s story o Piper poem; he gets rid of the visually spectacular scene of the demolition story and adds a hyper-literary poem in the film Clips • Carwash scene with Mitch and Zoey  Nicole and her father singing o One father daughter pair to another father daughter pair o Don’t know that Nicole is the daughter for a little while o Claustrophobic, dark  blue sky, happy music o Banner behind Nicole with a reflective image of her fac
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