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Mediated Utopias: From Literature to Cinema


Artur Blaim and Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim

The volume comprises adaptation studies of ten selected utopian/dystopian fictions written and filmed in Europe and America during the 20th and 21st centuries: Things to Come, Lost Horizon, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Lord of the Flies, The Andromeda Nebula, Brave New World, Total Recall, The Secret Garden, Harrison Bergeron and Never Let Me Go. It focuses not only on the ways of constructing fictional realities and techniques of rendering literary utopias/dystopias into film, but also on their cultural and political determinants.
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On Utopia, Adaptation, and Utopian Film Analysis: Artur Blaim And Ludmiła Gruszewska-Blaim


On Utopia, Adaptation, and Utopian Film Analysis



Artistic projections of ideal states and societies in fictional texts can serve different functions and be put to a variety of uses. Apart from the obvious aesthetic function, such constructions have been often regarded as a relatively attractive way of promoting certain political, social, and economic ideas, and / or verbalising one’s objections to the existing order. Polish positivist thinker and educator Alekander Świętochowski observed, “Utopia as an ideal form of social relations is the most common element of the spiritual domain. It constitutes a part of all religious beliefs, moral and legal theories, systems of education, or poems, in short, of all knowledge and works offering normative models of human life” (7). During nearly half a millennium after the publication of Thomas More’s Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia, the aesthetic function of utopia has gradually been reduced in favour of attempts at its practical implementation, beginning with the French Revolution, through nineteenth-century utopian experiments in Europe and America (the founding of numerous intentional communities), to the establishment of such book-based states as the Soviet Union (the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin), the Third Reich (Hitler’s Mein Kampf), Maoist China (Mao’s Red Book), or the Libyan Jamahiriya (Kadafi’s Green Book), which imposed allegedly perfect models on imperfect reality. At the same time, those ‘realised utopias’...

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