Modifying the Story Summer Solstice Through the Screenplay Tatarin

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Modifying the Story Summer Solstice
through the Screenplay Entitled “Tatarin”

A Partial Thesis Presented To
Mrs. Evelyn S. Agato
In Partial Fulfillment of the Subject
RD 100 - Research Design

Divine Angeline Leaño
Erinn Chua
Jan Erik Miras
Jamie Robertson San Juan
Clarissa Tan
Cherryl Tolentino

October 2011
Department of Media Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Trinity University of Asia

The purpose of this thesis is to come up with a clear justification on the reasons why screenwriters and filmmakers would modify books. It should be understood that the book and the film are two different subject matters. But the film would not exist without the help of the elements from the book. Thus it is safe to assert that the film Tatarin is a by-product of the work of Nick Joaquin, but nonetheless not the actual short story, Summer Solstice. A focus interview shall be conducted in order to prove that the scriptwriter- Mr. Ricky Lee – has subtle reasons on modifying Summer Solstice.

The students were asked to read the original novel and later watch the film to analyze the distinctions of both works. The subjects thought that the novel was confusing and that the film barely did anything to explain it. Their observations were then compared and our assumptions were somehow accurate. This research supports the idea that modifications to the original story have a major effect on the film version and its essence is changed as a film. We hope that the methods used for this study will be implemented in the works of other researchers who are conducting studies regarding novels and their film counterparts.

-As submitted to The National Communication Research Student Conference 2012


Literary adaptations have long been a trend in the industry of film. Films based on books and other types of literature could be traced as far as year 1985, where the first “fiction” film, L'arroseur arrosé (The Waterer Watered), was said to be based on an 1889 comic strip by "Christophe". Succeeding films that are regarded as landmarks in the movie industry like The Great Train Robbery (1903) and Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) were said to be based also on theatrical and comics material.

Generally, a generous population would agree that most of the resources of film come from the earlier mediums of print. The world stood witness as popular books such as JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (2001–2003), J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (2004 – 2011) and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series (2009 – present) took the cinemas by storm by bringing out the mystical and fictional characters to life in the big screen. We are also familiar with the works of Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Charlotte’s Web among others), and the fairy tales of Disney enterprise. The stories of Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Alice in Wonderland and other princesses could be traced to the ancient folklore of European countries.

In the Philippines, the trend is also rampant. Lualhati Bautista’s Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa?, Dekada Sitenta, and classics like El Filibusterismo and Noli Me Tangere were brought to life in the big screen. Palanca awardees were often tapped to have their stories be foundations for films, such as Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1975) and Laro sa Baga (2000) by Palanca awardee Edgardo Reyes.

Such is the case in our study where we take a look into Nick Joaquin's short story "Summer Solstice" as it is turned to the film "Tatarin" with Ricky Lee handling the screenplay.
Tatarin is a film that depicts the struggles of women in a patriarchal society. It involves cult-like activities during the summer solstice where the people deem the women as dominant and the men are forced to submit to their wills. The real meaning of the story and what point Nick Joaquin wants...
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