Transmediation or Media Representation? Media Transformation in Recent Eastern European Films



As scholars have shown lately, the trope of the tableau vivant is surprisingly recurrent in recent Eastern European cinema. However, there is a classification uncertainty which leads to terminological confusion. I argue for instance that the tableau vivant should be seen as a subclass of intermediality, in other words, as one of the specific cases of possible intermedial relations. Such a classification can be useful as a common toolkit for intermedial scholars, helping them to keep track in adequate and fruitful ways of the plethora of concepts that are now being used. For instance, is it helpful to see the tableau vivant as a form of transmediation, which in its turn can be seen as a subclass of intermediality? Or is it rather a form of media quotation, or media paraphrase? And to go even further, when does a paraphrase become an adaptation?
In this essay, I will have a closer look at the intermedial subclasses of transmediation and media representation, according to Lars Elleström’s typology. I will analyse a number of interesting manifestations of these phenomena in recent Eastern European films, and hope to show the usefulness of the typology.

Keywords: transmediation, intermediality, tableau vivant

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.18.4