French Lieutenant's Woman Book & Essay

Excerpt from Essay :



Karel Reisz' 1981 motion picture The French Lieutenant's Woman is based on the novel and the director also seems to be appreciative in regard to postmodernism and existentialism when considering the elements that he introduces in the film. Reisz created his film by designing a story within a story as he presents viewers with an account involving the actors playing Victorian characters. The director is not apparently concerned about criticizing a Victorian society, as he apparently wants audiences to think about how dilemmas present in the nineteenth century could also emerge in the 1980s. Reisz was well aware that he needed to address existentialism in his film, and he knew that he needed to do so by combining concepts contemporary to him and elements originating in Victorian England.

While Fowles used the narrator's voice with the purpose of intervening at different moments in the novel, Reisz has characters in the 1980's express their opinion regarding the film they are shooting. Individuals in the "real" world speculate concerning Victorian attitudes in regard to concepts that were no longer taboo in the second half of the twentieth century. Sarah's sexuality is presented as an essential element meant to present viewers with the sexual frustration in nineteenth century's individuals. The character is shown as it goes back and forth in the nineteenth, and, respectively, in the twentieth century in an attempt to discover more regarding her personality.

Sexual issues are one of the principal concepts making the film relate to existentialist ideas. In spite of the fact that he wants to have Fowles' philosophy present in his film, Reisz also concentrates on having viewers understand that an unrestricted society is not necessarily healthier than the Victorian society.

The characters in the 1980s part of the film are not very different from the characters in the Victorian era. It appears that both Mike and Charles fail to understand that Anna and Sarah are not necessarily interested in them and that they simply intend to have an affair without getting emotionally involved in the relationships that result. Although it is difficult to keep up with the storyline, viewers are likely to feel sympathetic in regard to the way that the director jumps back and forth through time.

One of the most interesting scenes in the film is the one presenting Charles and Sarah as they perform intercourse. While they feel restrained by society's legislations and are reluctant about having sex at first, the two end up having bestial intercourse and directly make a reference regarding sexual frustrations in the nineteenth century. In contrast to them, Anna and Mike feel much freer when considering a relationship based on sex. Even with that, the director provides viewers with the issue regarding how conditions in the 1980s are not as pleasant as one might think. Selfishness is one of the primary existential concepts in the motion picture meant to have audiences understand that many people in the present are no longer interested in the emotional aspect of a relationship.

Bibliography:

Lynn Dodson, Mary, "The French Lieutenant's Woman: Pinter and Reisz's Adaptation of JohnFowles's Adaptation," Literature/Film Quarterly 26.4 (1998)

Mahmoud, Fowles, " Mary Lynn Dodson, "The French Lieutenant's Woman," Random House, 2010.

Salami, Mahmoud, "John Fowles's fiction and the poetics of postmodernism," Associated University Presse, 1992

Dir. Reisz, Karel,…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography:

Lynn Dodson, Mary, "The French Lieutenant's Woman: Pinter and Reisz's Adaptation of JohnFowles's Adaptation," Literature/Film Quarterly 26.4 (1998)

Mahmoud, Fowles, " Mary Lynn Dodson, "The French Lieutenant's Woman," Random House, 2010.

Salami, Mahmoud, "John Fowles's fiction and the poetics of postmodernism," Associated University Presse, 1992

Dir. Reisz, Karel, The French Lieutenant's Woman. United Artists, 1981.

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