A New Series on Literature and Film Adaptation

| By Elizabeth Ferguson |

In today’s rush to produce more and more content for the silver screen, there is no shortage of cinematic adaptations of literary works. This concept and process is not new, however—directors and screenwriters have long been retelling beloved classics in feature-film format. Take, for example, Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Dracula. Or François Truffaut’s take on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and James Whale’s version of Frankenstein. Even current works, such as the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, have found immense success in the film world. Books to Film: Cinematic Adaptations of Literary Works, a new annual series offered on Gale’s GVRL eBook platform, explores the vast world of film adaptation. Entries discuss basic plot summaries of featured books and films; examine critical reaction to each adaptation at the time of their respective releases; provide biographical information on authors, directors, and screenwriters; and explore the process by which the book is transformed into a film. Adaptations covered range “from the silent period (1895–1927) through to contemporary cinema, from studios major and minor as well as independents, from Hollywood and around the globe” as Editor in Chief Barry Keith Grant writes in his introduction to Volume 1. Literary works covered include fiction and nonfiction, canonical works and bestsellers, classic and contemporary works, and long and short writing.

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Fact-Checking Movie “History”with Gale Resources

Posted on March 14, 2016

By Traci Cothran

I love the way movies inspired by historical events bring the past so vividly to life, especially for students who have never heard of these past events or notable people. But sometimes films stray from the facts in favor of presenting a stronger cinematic experience. I watched “Race” – the story about Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics – and wondered what was factual and what was “movie magic.” Students can use their brains and fingertips to search Gale databases –  like U.S. History In Context, Students Resources In Context, and Research In Context – to find out the truth, by investigating the following:

  • Following Jesse Owens’ gold medal wins, did Hitler shake Owens’ hand? (Bonus question: Did US President FDR ever welcome Owens to the White House?)
  • Were Owens and other African-American students allowed to live in student housing at Ohio State University?
  • Did German athlete Luz Long mark the takeoff area to help Owens qualify for the long jump?
  • Was that part in the movie where Owens had a romance with another woman (not his future wife) during college factual?
  • Did Owens capture 4 world records within 45 minutes at the 1935 Big Ten Track & Field Championship?
  • Why were US sprinters Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller scratched from the 4 x 100 event?

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May the Fourth Be with You: Using the Force

Star Wars Research GVRL library

By Robert Lisiecki

May the fourth be with you. Wait, I thought it was, “may the force be with you.” You know a film made a monumental impact on society when people assign a date in the calendar year to geek out. Let’s get geeky, Star Wars friends.

I’m admittedly not a self-proclaimed Star Wars nerd, but I’ve had a few light saber fights in my day, and I was Jar Jar Binks one year for Halloween; so, that counts for something… right?

It’s fascinating to think about the impactful nature of Star Wars, and how it still remains a force today (they just released the cast for the new movie!). Not only was it a monumental cinematic success, but it also impacted Hollywood, pop culture, and merchandising.

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