Literature & Film

This course is designed to provide students with another approach to studying English. It starts with the belief that there are many forms of text, all of which need to be read and interpreted. The two forms of text we will consider—linguistic and cinematic—are among the most widely interpreted forms of expression. Thus, the observant and thoughtful student will find many opportunities to observe the art of film as narrative and to explore the ways in which the art of literature has changed with the growing popularity of film.

Literature & Film offers a wide range of reading material from classic to contemporary, reflecting a diverse set of cultural backgrounds. Required reading includes The Invention of Morel, The Maltese Falcon, The Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Frankenstein, 1984 and V for Vendetta, as well as various short stories and poems, critical essays, news stories, screenplays and film reviews. Students will be expected to write critiques and other forms of analysis for both the literary works and the films. Students are also required to write an extended critical analysis of a literary work and its film adaptation (Literary Analysis Paper/ Term Paper).

Some films will be assigned for homework, not viewed entirely in class. Participants will study both recent and classic films, American and foreign films, studio and independent pictures, features and documentaries. Some films will be in black/white and have subtitles. Some analysis of paintings and music will also occur as a part of class activities. This class will probably not involve the creation of student film, unless it is part of the larger framework of film analysis. Students do not need to know how a film is made in order to take this class. Every student needs to turn in a signed permission sheet to be able to watch some of the films assigned.