Reviewed: Folklore/Cinema

Daniel Peretti of Indiana University reviews the Folklore/Cinema collection for The Journal of Folklore Research and seems to like it. My essay gets a specific mention:

Laity’s essay, which focuses on Ingmar Bergman’s film The Virgin Spring and Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, reveals an interesting phenomenon. Laity demonstrates Bergman’s familiarity with the ballad on which he based his plot–referred to in English as “Sisters murdered by brothers avenged by father”–but does not do the same for Craven. Instead, we learn that Craven based his film on his recollection of Bergman’s film, a recollection, Laity notes, which was not entirely accurate. Laity’s analysis of the film is insightful, but what the article tacitly calls for is a fuller understanding of influence and transformation as it occurs within an individual’s repertoire. Film studies eschews the fieldwork process so integral to folkloristics, but this seems one case where the analysis of the film and the dynamics of storytelling could have greatly benefited from interviews.

Good idea — now if only I can get my department to pay me to go do those interviews…