Webbläsaren som du använder stöds inte av denna webbplats. Alla versioner av Internet Explorer stöds inte längre, av oss eller Microsoft (läs mer här: * https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support).

Var god och använd en modern webbläsare för att ta del av denna webbplats, som t.ex. nyaste versioner av Edge, Chrome, Firefox eller Safari osv.

Transformative Screenwriting: Charlie Kaufman’s Postmodern Adaptation of Story

Postmodern Story Adaptation: Transformative Screenwriting


  • Johan Sundberg

Summary, in English

The essay's investigation of postmodern storytelling and transformative screenwriting, in relation to how Robert McKee's Story is reflected in Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation – in text and subtext, form and content – shows that the film's form is that of the classical archplot. It is only Adaptation's content, reflecting the dream of an art film/antiplot that is critical – while the form is a complicitous Hollywood form. The ideas and discussions in the film are original, but not its form of storytelling. This is reflected in Adaptation's doubleness, its postmodern mix of complicity and critique, and in how it uses the postmodern device of parody to play with what's real and what's not, and how the film – in a sense – is a conscious failure. The film’s illusion of writing itself, however, forces the viewer to active engagement, creating a critical, Brechtian verfremdung effect – most notably in the film’s third act.

Adaptation proves to be a process of evolution and adaptation through transformative screenwriting. The real and fictional Robert McKee's idea of story as change is reflected in its plot, and the fictional Charlie Kaufman himself is transformed at the end. Adaptation's form is conventional, and the film was a box office success – but neither the real nor the fictional Charlie Kaufman managed to express what they originally intended; stasis. The real McKee's ideas are made fun of, but his Story ideas are surprisingly deeply inherent in the film’s formal backbone. With Adaptation, the real Charlie Kaufman wasn’t yet able to free himself from his TV/Hollywood background to write the antiplot he dreamed of, and when he finally fully did so – with Synecdoche, New York – viewers deserted him.







Examensarbete för magisterexamen (Ett år)


  • Arts and Architecture


  • Charlie Kaufman
  • Storytelling
  • Writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Transformative Screenwriting
  • Transformative
  • Postmodern
  • Kaufman
  • Robert McKee
  • McKee
  • Thesis
  • Essay
  • Master's
  • Master
  • Donald Kaufman
  • Plot
  • Archplot
  • Miniplot
  • Antiplot
  • Change
  • Statis
  • Screenwriter
  • Hollywood
  • Art Film
  • Synecdoche
  • Eternal Sunshine
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Susan Orlean
  • The Orchid Thief
  • Orchid Thief


  • Erik Hedling (Professor)
  • Lars Gustaf Andersson (Professor)