The Appeal of Traditional Literature on Writers of Film
"Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind.
Traditional literature narrative structure as it seems will always be present in media for the simple reason that people are used to the formation. The presence of certain traditional literature elements in modern films is clearly evident as more and more movies rely on the narrative to drive their story. It may come from audiences being used to the familiar style but it also feels that the narrative is a perfect template to work against.
It is my intention to focus on how motion pictures are influenced by traditional literature. By using the structural approach to literature I will relate George Lucas' 1977 hero quest film, Star Wars: A New Hope to the approach. Addition to this I will recount the similarities between the 1954 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien novel, The Lord of the Rings and Lucas' motion picture Star Wars: A New Hope. Through this I hope to gain an insight into why film maker's draw inspiration from literature.
Perhaps the most compared mediums of this era are Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and this may be due to the overwhelming popularity of both. The gap between the two barely reaches fifteen years; in fact Lucas came up with the stories of Star Wars in 1966 and had written two drafts by 1975. It makes sense that Lucas would have been partly inspired by Tolkien's saga. Lucas used the structural approach quite effectively in Star Wars: A New Hope and it is very evident throughout the film. The film is perhaps the most well known hero quest film to grace our screens, due to the simple narrative the movie takes. It establishes its characters and then guides them through a series of events. The events are already laid out from the structural approach.