“The camera, like a narrator telling a story from a particular point of view, comments on the story while telling it” (Literature for Composition, Eds. Barnet, Burto, Cain, and Stubbs 338)

“All this talk about ingenious shots and their arrangement, then, assumes that the camera is a sort of pen, carefully setting forth images and thus at every point guiding he perceiver” (Literature for Composition, Eds. Barnet, Burto, Cain, and Stubbs 343)

Comparing two different adaptations: how does the emphasis differ in parallel scenes? Where do you see divergence from the text (in emphasis, in setting)? What compels the change in terms of the filmmaker’s particular vision?

Who receives the lines that are attributed to the narrator? And to what effect?

  • Who gets the first sentence?
  • What dialogue is added? And to what effect?
  • What about delivery of a line on the part of the actor? Tone? Facial expression? How does this add meaning and/or interpretation?
  • In the Austen adaptations, it is also important to follow the way in which the camera captures one character looking (and judging) another character

How effective is the film in conveying a character’s interior thoughts?

  • The role of the camera work here particularly important in its movement from the long shot to the close-up
  • The actor’s role in interpreting the character and conveying the character’s thoughts and feelings? (i.e. the bedroom scene between the sisters in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, for example)

Pay attention to camera angle:

  • Who gets the close-up?
  • Who does the camera follow? Does it allow a particular character’s point of view? and when does it move out to encompass a broader landscape?
  • Note the way the camera moves from a long shot, to a medium shot, to the close-up. What is the effect of the camera’s movement?

Austen novels really do not offer a great deal of physical description, but films depend upon it.

  • What do the heroines look like? (and to what effect)
  • What do they do and where? (And to what effect?)
  • The settings: natural scene, the village, and homes
  • Movement outside the text (i.e. representation of the coachmen outside the ball in the 1995 BBC production)
  • In the Austen films, it is particularly important to note the way in which the camera moves around the house (in the most recent Pride and Prejudice the camera moves around the house, for example)
  • As well as the representation of the past (costumes, homes, behavior)

Films also add music, voiceover, etc.

  • What is the significance of auditory effects?

Questions of literary adaptation

  • Introduction of characters (when at variance with the novel)
  • Addition/deletion of characters, plots, dialogue