By Shelley Cobb (auth.)
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Additional info for Adaptation, Authorship, and Contemporary Women Filmmakers
This sequence establishes Fanny as the embodiment of both Austen and Rozema, by using both Austen’s writings and what I would argue is Rozema’s view that official history is dull because the men are all good for nothing and there are hardly any women at all. The irony in this moment of the film is clear but the political point remains – history without women is dull. It is then, no small thing that the end includes Susie learning about one of the few ‘notable’ women of history, and it evokes the image of Rozema learning all she can about Austen, a writer she had never thought she would adapt because she could not see herself making a costume drama.
Potter’s conversation with fidelity, feminism, and 32 Adaptation, Authorship, and Contemporary Women Filmmakers Woolf, holds this process of disidentification and identification in the balance, leaving feminist criticism of Orlando to choose to engage with that process or not. Potter’s simultaneous identification and disidentification with female authorial and feminist legacies offers a model of conversation with those legacies. Instead of the one-way traffic of the generational and wave metaphors, conversation creates interaction and revaluation both down and up the line of these women’s traditions.
The long shot had been the point of view of Orlando at the tree; a close-up reveals a tear streaming down her face, and then the film returns to the girl’s point of view through the video camera. She shoots Orlando’s face in extreme close-up, her mother’s eyes, nose, and mouth filling the screen. ’ to which Orlando responds, ‘I’m not. I’m happy. Look. 4 The film cuts from the camcorder point of view to a close-up of Orlando, looking directly at the audience, nearly expressionless and yet serene.