The Power of Adaptation for Unlocking Literary Texts, Media, History and Historical Figures.
History and historical figures have remained a key source for television and cinema since their inception. The resulting adaptations tend to be fictionalized representations and interpretations. Italian history with its melodramatic figures and their storied tales have become a core material for transmedia storytelling, as it once was for opera. But what is left of history and its figures, and what has been altered and why? In the case of Giovanni Sforza, accurate historical depiction seems conspicuously inconvenient for storyline and consumer reaction. Such are the depictions in the two Borgias, where we are offered a Giovanni who is meek and fey (in the 1981 British television series), and a Giovanni who is cruel and violent (in Showtime’s 2011 series). Neither is an accurate portrayal. This panel examines the motives for what is left of history in adaptation and what is changed. Of outmost significance, is what it tells about a society that reimagines history in a fictional manner. Possible topics may include: