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Mary Shelley's - FRANKENSTEIN - The Modern Prometheus.

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Introduction

Mary Shelly's - FRANKENSTEIN. The Modern Prometheus. In this essay I am going to try and focus on the issues of life and death, science in society and mortality. I am also going to consider the difficulties of adapting an 18th century novel into a 20th century film for the "big screen" and still staying faithful to the essence of the book. The novel Frankenstein was written in 1818, it has deep meanings and was strongly influenced by Mary's background- above all the 'ghost story' contest, which was said to have given 'birth' to the exceptional novel. The novel is reflected by parts of her own life in that, she lost her child when it was only two weeks old. This is shown with the creation of the daemon, which represents life and how she longed for her baby to be alive. "Dreamt last night that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby. I think about the little thing all day. Not in good spirits." This terrible experience significantly influenced the book and its powerful issues. The novel discusses many intellectual issues such as: Should man play at being God? Should science be used to create life it's self? ...read more.

Middle

Frankenstein, costing just over $30 million dollars needed to re coup the costs. Therefore changes had to be made; such as the plot, character or action. The director had to edit and cut scenes to make it fit into the one hour and 40 minute time slot. The scenes had to be carefully put together to create a particular style and to create a certain effect. The director edited the scene where the daemon was being created. In this scene there was huge sets, dramatic music and a lot of hand-held camera work and many effective camera angles to capture the enormity of the laboratory. Many images were cut closely together to build up tension and suspense. This was a set piece designed for a modern audience. It is a very visual climax; where as in the book the creation of the monster is shown by, "I became myself capable of bestowing animation upon lifeless matter." As a film is intense for a long time and when read a book you "graze" and they are much more complex; the director has to make it appealing and want to make you watch on. Often commercial pressures mean that the film is not a true or faithful adaptation of the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

The director's job is very demanding. The director is the person with ultimate responsibility for everything that takes place on a film set, from the technical aspects up to the movements of the actors. Many directors make a contractual obligation that the released film is their cut. However many directors come under great pressure from the producers to make compromises for commercial reasons. The producers make suggestions in what happens but it is the directors who have the final say in how the film is put together to create a certain effect. The producers represent those who have given financial backing to the film. They can have significant influence on how the film develops. They want to make a high grossing film, with high ratings to bring in the money. The whole project has to be some kind of compromise. The director will highlight the main elements of the novel and remain faithful to those. The rest of the film will be subject to dramatic licence. The film Frankenstein tries very hard to stay to the book. It shows the essence of the novel. The film employs a technique of voice-over briefly at key points within the narrative and this helps to summarise a characters actions, thoughts and motivations. A voice-over can help to cover significant sections of the novel in a short time, as the story is very long and complex. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Barrett ...read more.

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