Heritage film

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A short presentation of the Heritage formula and its critique in Ivory's The Remains of the Day

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The Heritage formula and the case of Ivory’s The Remains of the Day Grappling with the novel’s “ architext ”

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Jane Austen

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Jane Austen

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The Brontës

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The Brontës

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Thomas Hardy

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Thomas Hardy

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Charles Dickens

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Charles Dickens

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William Thackeray

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Henry James

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Edith Wharton

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The Heritage Formula British theater-trained quality acting conventional generic formulas (mimesis, narrative tradition) stylistic means (long takes and deep depth of field) academicism /standardization

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The Heritage Formula Adaptations of English Victorian novels that share a few social and ideological traits: A reference to the English traditional way of life (decorum, moderation, harmony) A focus on domestic issues. Plots: Involve members of the privileged classes Revolve around saving the traditional family estate. Settings: showcase picturesque rural landscapes in the English countryside.

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The Heritage Formula The novels articulate a conventional and rather conservative view of English values and lifestyles

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Heritage Industry It means to re-establish the past as a property – a heritage – which belongs to the present, and responds to certain needs and interests active in the present

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Heritage is a shared cultural memory that helps define the identity of a group. Heritage products = reference to the country house, the stately mansion, the gentrified life-style of a neo-pastoral England. the touchstone of “Englishness”.

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A restrictive notion of cultural memory Merry England, Good Old England A feel-good utopia (a reassuringly stable heritage)

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The Merchant-Ivory Model

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The Remains of the Day

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John N. Sartorius, “The Earl of Darlington Fox-Hunting” (1804)

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George Wright, “Gone Away” (1892)

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J.F. Wheeler, « Fox-Hunting » (c. 1895)

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Mr. Farraday : “I mean to say, Stevens, this is a genuine grand old English house, isn't it? That's what I paid for. And you're a genuine old-fashioned English butler, not just some waiter pretending to be one. You're the real thing, aren't you?” (124)

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Does Ivory’s adaptation of Ishiguro’s text promote the Heritage utopia?

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Ivory’s The Remains of the Day is critical of the Heritage formula. It suggests that the kind of Englishness the Heritage advertises is not only a fraud but is also a potentially dangerous utopia. The film, like the novel, compares it to Germanity .

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