Project Title: Adapting 19th Century French Novel into Modern Film: Madame Bovary becomes Ms. Bovary
Students: Kristen Nooney ’18, Jessica Sanford ’16, and Meaghan Teitelman ’17
Mentor: Dr. Ana Oancea
This adaptation studies project combines creative and analytical work in imagining a modern American adaptation of Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. For the creative side, we will create a film treatment in which we bring together a set of modern American experiences that approximate Flaubert’s characters and key elements of the plot. We thus plan to adapt this classic 19th century story to our modern world. More specifically, our adaptation is set in Delaware, Ohio so that we can include our knowledge of the city. For example, Emma will be the sheltered daughter of a restaurant owner in the center of town, while Charles will be a recent graduate of Ohio Wesleyan’s premed program who chose not to make the most of the opportunities offered him. For the analytical side, we will use film and adaptation theory to explain how the film treatment relates to the novel. In particular, Kamilla Elliott provides insight in her essay Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate on the various theories to methodically adapt a book into a film. Because different members of the group wrote different parts of the treatment, while maintaining our contributions coherent, the analysis will allow us to reflect on the overall mechanism of adaptation.