To the question of whether the movie is a successful adaptation of Pekar, the answer is yes. The rest of the paper supports the argument and weighs in on the counterarguments and objections of Lefevre and Harvey…
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Harvey points out for instance, relating to photography versus hand-drawn images, that the difference is fundamental between the two. The latter are manual creations, while the latter are machine creations, being photographs. Now Harvey says that in essence machines have limitations in terms of not being able to render what hands can image wise. Machines are constrained to render nature, and not the creations of hands (Harvey, 1996, p. 175). Lefevre on the other hand says the same thing, and adds that the photography in film implies movement, whereas in drawn images the default is that of static frames. This presents fundamental problems in rendering drawn images as photographed moving images (Lefevre, 2007).
Hight essentially deflects those objections via a discussion on genres and treatment. classifies 'American Splendor' as a drama-documentary, and the work itself has its focus both the art of Harvey Pekar, as reflected in the comic which has an eponymous title, or has the same name as the author, as well as the comic itself.
Drama-documentary implies realism and the use of the personal subjective perspective of the key character and of Pekar himself to render the comic series on film. In essence, with the use of the genre, the film is able to effectively render the static hand-drawn image unto film overcoming the objections of Lefevre and Harvey....
Drama-documentary implies realism and the use of the personal subjective perspective of the key character and of Pekar himself to render the comic series on film. In essence, with the use of the genre, the film is able to effectively render the static hand-drawn image unto film overcoming the objections of Lefevre and Harvey. The answer to the objections raised by Lefevre and Harvey, in other words, is the choice of the drama documentary and all that the genre implies in terms of filming technique and overall approach to film making, and Pekar's own vision of his art work as the rendering of images the same way that photographers take pictures realistically (Hight, 2007; Lefevre, 2007; Harvey, 1996). With regard to page layout for the comic and the image on one screen, Lefevre says that this is a problem because in comic books the reader dictates the pace and the images are at closer proximity to them. In film, the watcher has to move along in the pace dictated by the movie. The watcher is unable to leaf through pages like in comic books, linger on a page. The experience is not the same (Lefevre, 2007). Harvey says the same thing, that one page on a comic does not equate to several sequences in a film, or that there are difficulties in rendering unto the movie image, moving, a single comic page that can capture a series of movements or a meaningful snapshot of events (Harvey, 1996, p. 176). To this objection Hight basically says that the unique rendering of the film essentially means that the film is able to bridge the gap between the page layout of the film and the single image of the screen. To this he presents the case for the way the film makes use of a hybrid
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