Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Moving Image Studies

First Advisor

Angelo Restivo

Second Advisor

Jennifer Barker

Third Advisor

Alessandra Raengo

Fourth Advisor

Megan Jane Sinnott

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study is divided into three chapters on the basis of three main subjects: hybridity/dialogism/semiosphere, auteurism, and photographs, delving into how Hollywood’s remaking of Asian horror films can be approached via theories of hybridity/dialogism/semiosphere, auteurism, and technologies of the visible, particularly the photographs exemplified in three Asian horror films, Ringu (1998), Juon (2002), and Shutter (2004). I will show that Hollywood’s remaking of Asian horror films can be considered a translation/adaptation in the Hollywood semiosphere. In Chapter I., Yuri Lotman’s semiosphere concept can be applied to Hollywood’s Asian horror film remaking process. The boundary is the crucial idea in Yuri Lotman’s semiosphere concept for elucidating the relationship between the boundary workings in the semiosphere and the translation in Hollywood’s remaking of Asian horror films. Chapter 2 will discuss how Shimizu differed from Michael Haneke, who also remade his own original film, Funny Games (1997), for Hollywood, [Funny Games (2007)], examining how Shimizu catered to Hollywood’s desires by changing the narrative structure and the character’s races through the translation process.

In Chapter 3, I discuss the tradition of the Western ghost, focusing on the history of (spirit) photographs and the relationship between ghosts and photographs and examining how photographs in the two Shutter films work within the narrative. Bazin’s and Barthes’ ideas of photographs are introduced and examined for how they are related to the two Shutter films’ narratives, which are interwoven with spirit photographs. Chapter 3 also deals with the representation of female characters and their ties to orientalism in the two films.

Finally, the points made in this study will show that Hollywood’s remaking of Asian horror films can be considered a translation/adaptation in the Hollywood as a semiosphere. This comparative study between Asian original horror films and their Hollywood remakes seeks to excise Asian specificity and eventually incorporate supernatural horror into the mainstream. In Hollywood remakes of Asian horror films, the supernatural shifts toward an “Asianization” of the Hollywood topography, involving greater visibility of the Gothic in supernatural and fantasy films.

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