orlando.pdf - UvA-DARE(Digital Academic Repository Sexual ambiguity Narrative manifestations in adaptation St Jacques J Link to publication Citation for

orlando.pdf - UvA-DARE(Digital Academic Repository Sexual...

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UvA-DARE is a service provided by the library of the University of Amsterdam () UvA-DARE (Digital Academic Repository) Sexual ambiguity: Narrative manifestations in adaptation St. Jacques, J. Link to publication Citation for published version (APA): St. Jacques, J. (2014). Sexual ambiguity: Narrative manifestations in adaptation. General rights It is not permitted to download or to forward/distribute the text or part of it without the consent of the author(s) and/or copyright holder(s), other than for strictly personal, individual use, unless the work is under an open content license (like Creative Commons). Disclaimer/Complaints regulations If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library: , or a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible. Download date: 05 May 2019
Chapter Four “Neither a Woman, Nor a Man,” Almost: The Questionable Premise of Sally Potter’s Orlando Simple white credits on a black background. No special effects, fancy typography, areal shots or animated lettering. The opening sequences of British filmmaker Sally Potter’s adaptation, Orlando (1992) are aesthetically straightforward and unpretentious. Following her acknowledgments to co-producers and financiers, the words “A film by SALLY POTTER … based on the book by VIRGINIA WOOLF” are followed by a pause, then a tentative splash of Fred Frith’s electric guitar. Orlando’s voice rises at the edge of audibility, reciting a sixteenth-century epic by Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene . 1, As the credits roll, the cadence of actress Tilda Swinton’s voice runs up against Frith’s polished chords, faltering yet persistent, as if Orlando is attempting to memorize Spenser’s poem, or reading it aloud for the first time. Juxtaposed against this audio montage, the film’s title, all caps, juts out abruptly: ORLANDO. While this pastiche of credits, music and text might seem straightforward at first blush, it initiates Potter’s film in a series of adaptive clinamen that alter the “original” beginning of Woolf’s novel, and assert the potential for revision that lies at the heart of 1 Using Frith’s electronic sound as the backdrop for this scene is an interesting choice; on the one hand, the song is evocative and has its affective hooks, while, on the other hand, its use of electronic music as somehow connotative of the Elizabethan era corresponds to Potter’s signature postmodern style. And Frith is no stranger to Potter’s ouevre; in addition to Orlando , Potter collaborated with Frith on The Tango Lesson (1997) and Yes (2004). Frith’s recording recording legacy includes the production of genre-bending albums with musicians as diverse as Brian Eno, Anthony Braxton and John Zorn. Of course, combining

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