Pathway: Tilda Swinton as Orlando by Laura Staab

This pathway will explore, primarily through images of Swinton as Orlando (although the accompanying essay will recognise this casting to be about more than appearance), aspects of star intertextuality in Potter\'s 1992 film of Woolf\'s 1928 \'biography\'; that is, what the actress adds to the eponymous character in the process of adaptation, as a result of her star persona.

A4 colour printout picture on paper of Orlando leaning against oak tree writing

In this picture, Swinton as Orlando is seen leaning against an oak tree, writing. With the oak tree as a literary symbol of enduring strength, and the idea that there is a possibility of eternality in literature itself, it is a provoking image to mirror the immortality of the character. Swinton herself has a ghostly quality in her pale skin, perfect for this uncertain area between dead and alive in the question of immortality, and whether it is relevant in the story; in the New Statesman in 2013, Jeanette Winterson asserted that 'ageing is irrelevant' in 'Orlando', as is gender.

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Behind the Scenes Images - Tilda Swinton on location for an a scene not used in the final cut of the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 62 - (Tilda Swinton) and 's Daughter (Jessica Swinton) in the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 61 - (Tilda Swinton) and Publisher (Heathcote Williams) in the film

This is a perfect shot to illustrate the modernity of Orlando. Potter extends the timeline of Woolf's novel to the late twentieth century, which emphasises the central character's immortality. Moreover, Orlando is not outdated in the audience's contemporary society; she is as youthful as ever, as if stopped in time like the frozen river early in the story. It could be said to be a quality of Swinton's; her somewhat frozen face and porcelain skin seems to maintain a sense of youthfulness even now, eleven years after 'Orlando' into her early fifties. In this scene, she wears a white suit: androgynous and unconventional, as always, but perhaps familiar to spectator's today, when this level of experimental fashion is widely accepted. Here, she seems more her off-screen self than at any other point in the film; a sense that, perhaps, if Orlando lived to 1992, she would indeed be someone like Swinton, a Bowie-esque icon.

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 58 - (Tilda Swinton) and Shelmerdine (Billy Zane) in the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 53 - (Tilda Swinton) in the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 49 - (Tilda Swinton) in the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 38 - (Tilda Swinton) in the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 25 - (Tilda Swinton) in the film

The composition of this frame, as well as the pose of Orlando within it, is reminiscent of a classical portrait, like those Swinton describes feeling so akin to, on the walls of her ancient family's house. It shows Orlando to be of high heritage (a trait shared by the actress): the dark, rich wood; the background filled with books, a hint at the privilege of a good education.

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 14 - (Tilda Swinton) and Sasha (Charlotte Valandrey) in the film

1 x colour slide in transparent plastic hanging sheet, Digital, Film Stills - Scene 4 - (Tilda Swinton) in the film

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

These notes on the character of Orlando from Potter resonate with critics' impressions of the actress, Swinton. The analysis here talks of the protagonist as a paradox; in an article from The Guardian, Simon Hattenstone apparently 'meets the contradictory Tilda Swinton'. In the same newspaper, on the release of 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' three years later, these opposites still exist in her star persona: Kira Cochrane ends her piece with, 'Swinton strides off - boyish, girlish and extraordinary', a description much like the opening sentence here.

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

Here, Potter's production notes discuss the complications of talking about Orlando's androgyny in a manner of binary oppositions; much like Swinton in the Cineaste interview, she is weary of the term.

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House

1 x A4 black photograph album; 34 vellum pages; 24 x colour prints, Mixed, Presentation book containing Sally Potter's notes on the film and colour photographs of Tilda Swinton at Hatfield House