MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM AND THE CLASSICS
Michael Winterbottom is the director famous mostly for his politically involved movies like In This World (2002) and Road to Guantanamo (2006). However, he is also an author of three adaptations of classic British literature. These are: Jude (1995), adapted from “Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy, The Claim (2000) based on “The Major of Casterbridge” another book by Hardy, and Tristram Shandy. A Cock and Bull Story in which Winterbottom deals with a difficult content of the 18th-century novel “The Life and Opinions of Thristram Shandy, Gentelman” by Laurence Sterne. Even though the large part of Winterbottom’s movies derives from prose, these three adaptations are the best examples not only of magnificent cinema, but also of differential, modern (or even postmodern) and innovatory approaches and strategies towards the art of adaptation. Each of the above-mentioned movies uses classic material in order to become commentary of and discussion with either rules of contemporary world and society, movie genre and ideology presented in it, or cinema itself – its boundaries and possibilities. What Winterbottom essentialy proposes to the audience is both reminder and reinterpretation of classic literature and presentation of new ways in which cinema may approach it.