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Horrifying adaptations: Ringu, The Ring, and the cultural contexts of copying

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Focusing on the figure of the copy in Hideko Sadaka's Ringu and its Gore Verebinksi's The Ring, this article traces one of the sources of horror in these films to the fluidity of this figure. Manifest variously as a form of technological reproduction that, in turn, serves as a way of screening fears associated with biological reproduction as well as the parental responsibilities that this process occasions and as a means by which cultural memory might be preserved, the figure of the copy serves as a vexed symbolic vehicle for exploring the relationship between cultural texts and the disparate national contexts that shape them. Ultimately, the figure of the copy functions as an apt means of self-reflexively commenting on the possibilities and limitations that might characterize the process of adaptation itself.
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Keywords: copyright; horror; representations of Japan; transnational adaptation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Western Ontario.

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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