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Greenaway’s books: Peter Greenaway’s published screenplays

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Greenaway’s published screenplays – screenplays produced and consumed as discrete material objects – function both as fluid, hybrid texts and as material books that stand ambivalently and therefore suggestively and productively poised between print and film technologies. Ranging from the early scripts published by Faber and Faber in the mid-to-late 1980s to the later and still-ongoing series of scripts produced by the French publisher Dis Voir, Greenaway’s published screenplays are fascinating examples of print film texts that produce and demand unique ways of reading and looking. By addressing these books as visual and material objects, distinct from the films, we might evince and extract from the pages of these published screenplays entirely new texts with a plurality of narrative possibilities, in which juxtapositions and relationships amongst different cultural discourses can give rise to innovative visual and verbal structures. Such an approach to Greenaway’s published film scripts as material events might contribute a curious but compelling chapter to the history of the ontology of the screenplay, affording the published script a visibility it often otherwise lacks.
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Keywords: Peter Greenaway; cinema and the book; illustrated books; literature and film; screenplay publishers; screenplays

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of British Columbia

Publication date: March 15, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Screenwriting aims to explore the nature of writing for the moving image in the broadest sense, highlighting current academic thinking around scriptwriting whilst also reflecting on this with a truly international perspective and outlook. The journal will encourage the investigation of a broad range of possible methodologies and approaches to studying the scriptwriting form, in particular: the history of the form, contextual analysis, the process of writing for the moving image, the relationship of scriptwriting to the production process and how the form can be considered in terms of culture and society. The journal also aims to encourage research in the field of screenwriting, the linking of scriptwriting practice to academic theory, and to support and promote conferences and networking events on this subject.
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