‘It was what I pulled out of that novel that made the film’. Literary, Film and Musical Adaptations

  • Marida Rizzuti IULM University, Milan
Keywords: Adaptation, Audiovisual, Translatability, Cinema, Music


The article presents adaptation as a process of change and not as a final product: the expressive language is an essential feature in the definition of the object.  The object of this article is the switching from one language to another. The article deals with the film adaptation’s of literature, on the basis of two case studies: Carmen Story by Carlos Saura and The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola. The specificity of this article within the field of adaptation studies is the focus on music and on her function within the transition from the literary to the filmic text: it is here assumed that music plays a key role and becomes bearer of meaning, like the other components, which constitute the new expressive language; moreover, music is a necessary component, while 'returning' the rhythm of the original. The article identifies and analyses some scenes of the movies, in which the music plays an essential role in the process of adaptation. In conclusion, it will been shown how the music does not constitutes only a soundtrack, an element which is added to the image, but it is a creative instance, bearer of meaning as the image: it is therefore more proper speaking of audiovisual texts, than of filmic adaptations of literary texts.


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Author Biography

Marida Rizzuti, IULM University, Milan

Marida Rizzuti is lecturer at the IULM University of Milan. Her interests are  the music dramaturgy in the XXth Century, the American musical theatre, Literature, music and cinema, Audiovisual study, mythocritic. Pubblications: I musical di Kurt Weill Prospettive, generi e tradizioni (2006), Quando il musical diventa concettuale, filmico, rock e…1965-1975 (2011), Love Life e Trouble in Tahiti Rappresentazione della famiglia americana (2012), Bravi, Briganti e Masnadieri La figura del brigante attraverso occhi stranieri (forthcoming).


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The Godfather, Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, Stati Uniti, 1972

How to Cite
Rizzuti, M. (2012). ‘It was what I pulled out of that novel that made the film’. Literary, Film and Musical Adaptations. Between, 2(4). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/650