Literary Dimensions of Film
Section 22756; Anspach 255 2:00-3:50 MW
English 326, Literary Dimensions of Film is, as the title suggests, a course in both literature and film. By studying literary works of varying types and from various periods and comparing them with films based on them, the course helps the student recognize the similarities and differences between these two media and discover the literary qualities inherent in almost all cinema. Popular film as we know it is essentially the result of applying the conventions of cinematography to the conventions of fiction (short story, novella, novel) and/or drama. The differences between a novel or play and the movie based on it often arise from the demands placed on the material by the conventions imposed by the art form or by the expectations of an audience concerning that art form. By studying the art of film adaptation we are necessarily forced to make distinctions about the art forms being adapted and doing the adaptations. The course then will focus in nearly equal amounts on literature, film, and the nature of adaptation.
To achieve that end the class will vary in format, from mini-lectures on background material to class discussion of readings and viewings to showings of film adaptations. In addition to class discussion students will be asked to keep a literature and film journal of responses to reading and viewing. These will be handed in occasionally during the semester and collected at the end of the term. Most entries will be assigned in class, usually in conjunction with material to be discussed, read, or viewed. STUDENTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO WRITE SEVERAL SELF-GENERATED ENTRIES AS WELL. STUDENTS WILL ALSO BE EXPECTED TO VIEW ONE ASSIGNED FILM OUTSIDE OF CLASS.
Formal papers will include:
1) a paper analyzing a book or film or combination of the two and
2) an original adaptation, either cinematizing a literary work or novelizing a film.
Details on these assignments will be given later in the course. There will also be:
3) a mid-term examination,
4) a final examination, and
5) a grade for journals and participation (liveliness and value of discussion; fullness of responses on exit slips).
Final grades in the course are an average of these five grades, each grade weighing one fifth.
NOTE: There are twenty-nine class sessions scheduled; after three absences the maximum participation grade is lowered one full letter grade for each additional unexcused absence; credit is given to students with regular attendance on days when class meeting is cancelled by the instructor. Assignment and test grades alone are not considered sufficient grounds to give students credit for having taken the course. To pass, students must attend. Students with a record of excessive absence from the class will be given failing grades at the end of the course.
Anderson, Maxwell.. Joan of Lorraine. (Dramatists Play Service)
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward (Vintage)
Koch, Howard. Casablanca: Script and Legend. (Overlook Press)
McMahon, Elizabeth, et al. The Elements of Writing about Literature and Film (Longman)
Shakespeare, William. Henry V. Ed. Claire McEachern (Pelican)
Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five. (Dell)
Woolrich, Cornell. The Cornell Woolrich Omnibus. (Penguin)
Note: Additional short readings of drama and fiction will be handed out in class.
For Course Outline and Film Showings, click this Schedule Link.
For Recommendations about Tests, click this Writing Exam Essays Link.
For Journal Description and Entries, click this Journal Link.
For Bibliographies and Filmographies, click this Resources Link.
For Assignments, click this Comparison Assignment Link.
For the second assignment, click this Screenplay Assignment Link.
For Books on Reserve, click this Reserve Reading Link.
For a look at Illuminated Manuscripts, click Les Tres Riches Heures.
For a Power Point Presentation on Film Terms, click this Terms Show Link.
For a Power Point Presentation on Fiction, click this Fiction Show Link.
For a Power Point Presentation on the Course, click this Course Review Link.
For an overview of an historical timeline, click this Hundred Years War Link.
CMU provides students with disabilities reasonable
accommodation to participate in educational programs, activities or services.
Students with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in class
activities or meet course requirements should contact me as early as possible.
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