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The Comic Book Film as Palimpsest

Title:

The Comic Book Film as Palimpsest

Jeffries, Dru Harvey (2014) The Comic Book Film as Palimpsest. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

In this dissertation, I argue that the comic book film can be productively conceptualized along the same theoretical lines used by Gérard Genette in his literary study Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree: that is, as a genre whose individual works are constructed of multiple textual layers. In this case, these layers consist of different media—film and comics—both of which
remain uniquely visible in the final product, and whose combination results in unique articulations of cinematic style. I argue that the full import of these stylistic interventions is lost or overlooked when using an adaptation studies approach to the genre; therefore I employ a version of Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s theory of remediation filtered through Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of literary dialogism and heteroglossia. Chapter One articulates the limitations
of adaptation theory and presents remediation as a productive alternative. Chapter Two develops a Genette-inspired six-tiered schema that details the categories into which the various strategies of remediation fit. The following two chapters draw upon this framework to explore particular formal differences between comics and film and the stylistic means through which various film
texts have addressed them: namely, the difference between the film frame and the comic book panel (Chapter Three) and cinematic movement versus comic book stasis (Chapter Four). In Chapter Five, I explode the established paradigm by considering two case studies that remediate comic books amongst a broader variety of media, which present comics as one medium in the vast contemporary digital media ecology. In the final chapter, I address the superhero film in particular, exploring the question of celluloid versus digital cinema at length and how Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy (Batman Begins; The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises) uses its narrative to allegorically advocate for cinematic specificity, thus articulating a counter-example to the framework established in the previous chapters.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Jeffries, Dru Harvey
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Film and Moving Image Studies
Date:October 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lefebvre, Martin
ID Code:979124
Deposited By: DRU JEFFRIES
Deposited On:16 Jul 2015 14:51
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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