Reading Films fo Establishing Intertextual Links: The Students’ Solution for Unacknowledged Remakes and Premakes

Michal Post
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Special Issue 4, 646-657, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2796


Purpose: The paper presents a fragment of the author and his seminar students’ recent research on multimodal film texts called film remakes, regularly defined as new versions of the existing films and on their multimodal filmic source texts called premakes. In this article, the reading in the sense explained below concerns these two multimodal film texts, with a view to establishing the intertextual relationship between them. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research reported in the present paper is part of the large-scale, on-going inquiry into the intra- and intermedial adaptation and translation. As such, this research belongs to the broader fields of media linguistics and multimodal translation. To read a film means to understand the story progressing on the screen. The spectators acquire this competence by recognizing the combined semantic entities consisting of both the filmic devices and non-filmic, cognitive means of storytelling. The idea that the reading of films amounts to the understanding of films’ stories is also consistent with the firmly-established conceptual metaphors of ‘understanding is seeing’ and ‘to see is to know’. Findings: Usually the remake status of the film remains acknowledged. The required degree of similarity and a tolerated degree of difference, revealed through comparing two multimodal film texts, provide the basis for such objectives. The reported research has offered a framework for the intermedial comparison and examination of the similarities and differences, and – on this basis – it has prompted a solution to the problem of identification and justification of premakes of unacknowledged remakes. Practical implications: The outlined framework proved useful and effective in the author’s and the students’ numerous analyses of multimodal film texts. The author’s current research on intermediality shows that the same framework can also be used for the evaluation of the quality of film adaptations and film novelizations. Originality value: The participants of the author’s film project aimed to work out their own student-friendly explications of the concepts of ‘film text’ and ‘multimodal film text analysis’. From their attempt the original concept of narrative-compositional structure and several other related concept emerged.

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