Gene M. Moore considers the business of reframing most literally in focusing on the proscription against “making scenes” in “The Return” and Gabrielle.Moore observes the very different force of that proscription once the film introduces potential witnesses to those scenes, who both provide a stage audience for the characters’ interior conflicts and emphasize the inherent theatricality, the incessant tendency toward self-framing, Alvan Hervey displays even when he is alone. Like Eberle-Sinatra, Moore leaves several crucial questions open. Why are the scenes in front of Chéreau’s servant witnesses more embarrassing than Conrad’s tête-à-têtes? Does the audience’s discomfort arise more from the possibility of exposure or out of respect for the servants’ sensibilities? In what ways are the servants, who are obliged to listen to the scenes without having the status or power to intervene by telling their employers what they think, figures for the audience of Chéreau’s film or for films in general? Yet, Moore’s analysis invites audience members to reconsider their relation to the intimate scenes that are cinema’s stock in trade in ways that are more specific and nuanced than any general theory of the pleasures of cinematic voyeurism could provide.
Mary Sanders Pollock answers Laura Carroll’s call for a third text(p. 227) that can destabilize the iron binary of source novel and film adaptation by directing attention away from The Sweet Hereafter to “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” as a formative influence on Atom Egoyan’s film. Supplementing Russell Banks with Robert Browning and Kate Greenaway, his early illustrator, not only enlarges the field of sources but also redirects attention to the kinds of work the adaptation is actually doing. Instead of considering the adaptation of particular sources, Pollock focuses on the adaptation of particular techniques, such as shifting points of view, treating them as transmedial phenomena rather than the properties of any single medium. In their different ways, Carroll and Pollock demonstrate that book-to-film analyses, though they are poor masters for adaptation study, make excellent servants if they are consciously chosen and productively applied.
In addition to providing a fresh look at specific Victorian novels, the contributors suggest several ways in which adaptation study can move