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Title: The cinema of lost films : Ray Bradbury and the screen
Author: Nichols, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 8381
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the fiction and screenwriting of Ray Bradbury (1920-2012), the American author best known for novels and short stories in the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Bradbury’s screenwriting has previously received little critical attention, but is examined here in an archival study of four of his extended film-making projects, two of which came to fruition in completed films, and two of which remain unproduced. Moby Dick (John Huston, 1956) is a strong work of structural adaptation from Herman Melville’s novel, and the experience of adapting it is shown to have had a significant impact on Bradbury’s own work in prose fiction and radio drama. The development of Something Wicked This Way Comes (Jack Clayton, 1983), a film based on Bradbury’s own novel, is traced through multiple pathways of adaptation, revealing Bradbury as an effective story analyst and self-adapter. The conflict of authority between screenwriter and film director is shown to be a manifestation of Ian W. Macdonald’s concept of ‘the screen idea’ as the controlling force in film production. Bradbury’s un-filmed screenplays for The Martian Chronicles (1961, 1963-5, 1978, 1997) are found to have developed a grand narrative displaying Bradbury’s philosophy of humankind’s place in the cosmos. His novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) is shown to be a fundamentally cinematic fiction, and the film adaptation by François Truffaut (1966) is revealed to have stimulated Bradbury’s own re-vision of the work for stage and screen. The serial re-composition of prose works as cross-media re-visions is proven to be central to Bradbury’s working method. Self-adaptation is considered as a challenge to established theories of adaptation, such as Linda Hutcheon’s A Theory of Adaptation (2006).
Supervisor: Seed, D. ; Sawyer, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral