‘Not I, my shadow’: Pilar Miró's adaptation of Lope de Vega's The Dog in the Manger (1996)

Author: Canning, Elaine

Source: Studies in European Cinema, Volume 2, Number 2, September 2005 , pp. 81-92(12)

Publisher: Intellect

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In 1996, Lope de Vega's seventeenth-century classic The Dog in the Manger was adapted for the screen by Spanish film director Pilar Miró. Not only was it a popular success, but it also won seven prestigious Goya awards, including those for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. As a costume drama in verse form, the film has generally been categorized as a faithful adaptation of the Lopean original. But is it? The aim of this article is to assess to what extent Miró maintains fidelity to the source material while simultaneously accommodating the horizon of expectation of a contemporary audience. The appeal of The Dog in the Manger to a Spanish film-viewing public will be analysed in terms of camerawork, textual modifications and omissions, setting and costume. Furthermore, a consideration of Miró's decoding strategies will reveal how the film's principal theme and the emotional turmoil of the main female protagonist are clarified and reinforced through colour and character positioning. Ultimately, absolute faithfulness to the original will be examined in connection with the dénouement of The Dog in the Manger to determine whether it, like the leading male protagonist's noble status, is indeed a façade.

Keywords: Carmelo Gómez; Emma Suárez; Lope de Vega; Pilar Miró; The Dog in the Manger; adaptation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/seci.2.2.81/1

Affiliations: University of Wales, Swansea.

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • Studies in European Cinema provides an outlet for research into any aspect of European cinema and is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, celebrating the rich and diverse cultural heritage across the continent. The journal is distinctive in bringing together a range of European cinemas in one volume and in its positioning of the discussions within a range of contexts - the cultural, historical, textual, and many others.
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