Authorcidal Tendencies: Emma and less Clueless Approaches to Film Adaptations of the Canon.

Joel Gibson


Is the film as good as the book? Who cares. Our habit of assessing cinematic adaptations of great novels by testing their fidelity to the original is tired. A far more interesting and productive analysis is the one that asks, "What does the film, as one reading of the book among myriad others, tell us about the filmmakers, their physical and mental environment, and ourselves as fellow travellers?"
There are few better adaptations to subject to this process than Clueless, the mid-90s teen flick transformation of Jane Austen's Emma. Like film adaptation on anabolic steroids, Clueless doesn't try to be better - just to be relevant, witty and wise all at once. Much Like Austen, really.

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