Film Novels: A Poetics

Dissertation, Brigham Young University (2002)

Dennis Packard
Brigham Young University
In this study, I explore the viability of what Carl Dreyer called film novels or filmscripts in the form of novels. I show that these novels are viable---that is, they can be written and filmed in ways that deeply engage us in understanding them. ;In the introduction, I explain that this study is a poetics---that is, it formally defines film novels, specifies a standard for successful film novels, and specifies ways of creating film novels so that they are likely to be successful. I then survey what scholars have written about these script-like novels. ;In the first chapter, I define film novels as short, visually engaging novels-that is, short novels that continually engage readers in picturing scenes. I then explore the historical background of this type of novel. ;In the second chapter, I explain that successful film novels are interpretively engaging---that is, they engage readers, not only in continually picturing scenes, but also in thoughtfully interpreting them. I then trace the history of film novels and show how they, and films based on them, have engaged readers and viewers in interpreting them. ;In the third chapter, I explain that thoughtful interpretation can be understood as generous interpretation if we use the word generous as Jean-Paul Sartre did. Drawing on Sartre's philosophy of literature, I explain how generous writers engage readers in generous interpretation. ;In the fourth chapter, I explain how writers can generously create characters and plots for film novels. In the fifth, I present detailed exercises to help writers generously create scenes and storylines for film novels. In the sixth, I explain how filmmakers can generously turn film novels into films. ;I conclude that film novels come from a tradition of highly visual novels, film novels can be deeply engaging, and this engaging quality can be preserved in films
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,777
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Placebo Effect in Popular Culture.Mary Faith Marshall - 2004 - Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (1):37-42.
The Literary Origins of the Cinematic Narrator.Katherine Thomson-Jones - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (1):76-94.
Philosophy and the Novel.Alan H. Goldman - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
What Novels Can Do That Films Can't.Seymour Chatman - 1980 - Critical Inquiry 7 (1):121-140.
Flusser and the Polish Novels.Martyna Markowska - 2010 - Flusser Studies 10 (1).
Ethics, Stories and Reading.Colin Davis - 2013 - Substance 42 (2):128-140.
The Ontology of Film.Julie N. Books - 2002 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes