''Tess'' Represented on Screen: The Qualities of Film in Adaptation

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This thesis is a study of three film adaptations of Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles. This study focuses on aspects such as medium specificity, differences, similarities, and interrelations between film adaptations and the adapted text in order to examine what film can do with literature, and what literature can mean for film. The central question that arises from this focus is: what qualities does film have that literature does not, and how do these qualities create the experience of an adaptation as an adaptation. Furthermore, this thesis will also have a thematic analysis of landscape and music. Besides this thematic analysis, the present research explores two scenes across three adaptations. Film adaptations are sometimes seen as imperfect renditions of literary stories. This thesis, however, argues that film adaptations have various qualities that enrich the story of the literary predecessor and make the experience of an adaptation as an adaptation appealing to readers of the novel. The three adaptations examined in this thesis are: Roman Polanski’s Tess (1979), Ian Sharp’s Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998) and David Blair’s Tess of the D'Urbervilles (2008).
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