André Bazin on Adaptation: Cinema’s Literary Imagination

University if Calafornia
Publication Year: 

By Andre Bazin, Dudley Andrew (Editor), Deborah Glassman (Translator), Natasa Durovicova (Translator)

Adaptation was central to André Bazin’s lifelong query: What is cinema? Placing films alongside literature allowed him to identify the aesthetic and sociological distinctiveness of each medium. More importantly, it helped him wage his campaign for a modern conception of cinema, one that owed a great deal to developments in the novel. The critical genius of one of the greatest film and cultural critics of the twentieth century is on full display in this collection, in which readers are introduced to Bazin’s foundational concepts of the relationship between film and literary adaptation. Expertly curated and with an introduction by celebrated film scholar Dudley Andrew, the book begins with a selection of essays that show Bazin’s film theory in action, followed by reviews of films adapted from renowned novels of the day (Conrad, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Colette, Sagan, Duras, and others) as well as classic novels of the nineteenth century (Bronte, Melville, Tolstoy, Balzac, Hugo, Zola, Stendhal, and more). As a bonus, two hundred and fifty years of French fiction are put into play as Bazin assesses adaptation after adaptation to determine what is at stake for culture, for literature, and especially for cinema. This volume will be an indispensable resource for anyone interested in literary adaptation, authorship, classical film theory, French film history, and André Bazin’s criticism.