Film Literature Syllabus Mrs

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Film Literature Syllabus Mrs

Film Literature Syllabus

    Mrs. Eva Peters

    Film Literature is the general study of how to read films for critical analysis. The class is similar to an English literature class but instead of reading books the students “read” films. Through

    films a student can explore cultures, relationships, political issues, and get a deeper insight and understanding about the human experience including the self. The films in this class will be narratives with all the basic elements of literature; these will be analyzed, examined and discussed, applying the same methods used in English literature classes. Because most significant films are based on books, Film literature will also consider the relationship between films and the written word (novels).

    A new film will be presented each week with some exceptions (short weeks, midterms, finals, etc.). The films will be segmented into themes (coming of age, family, meaning of friendship, cultural awareness, etc.). In addition to the films, the student will be required to read one novel throughout the semester (in-class reading) and at the end of the semester the film based on that novel will be presented. An assignment will be completed based on the novel and the film; more information to come later.

    Coursework: During the semester the student will be required to read one novel (mentioned above), “read” two films outside of class, write two short literary analyses, write movie reviews,

    complete analysis activities related to the film, and complete key chapters from the textbook The

    Art of Watching Films, Sixth Edition by Joseph M. Boggs and Dennis W. Petrie. Tests will be administered every two weeks.


    At the completion of this course, the student will:

    ; View, discuss, review and analyze films.

    ; Write critical analyses and evaluations of selected films

    ; Recognize and discuss specific film genres

    Discussion: Participation in discussions is an important element for this class. Through discussion, films are analyzed more thoroughly and the student gets the perspective of other points of view; this usually tends to foster growth. A weekly grade will be assigned for participation in class discussion.

    “Reading” the film: When a film is being presented, it is like the teacher presenting

    information: Utmost attention to the film is required. A weekly grade will be assigned for actively “reading” the film.

Movie Reviews

    Each movie presented in class will be reviewed. The student will be given several formats/examples for movie reviews.

Literary Analysis

    The student will write two short literary analyses on two films viewed in class. These must be revised by at least three peers and a student will have to re-do the assignment if the literary analysis is substandard. Several examples will be provided to the student as well as a rubric.

Textbook Chapters

    The student will read weekly from the textbook The Art of Watching Films, by Joseph M. Boggs

    and Dennis W. Petrie. There will be comprehension and analysis questions pertaining to each chapter. The exam will include chapter questions.

Film Activities

    Every film will have standard/routine activities that must be completed before, during and after viewing the film. Points will be awarded based on the quality of work completed.


    The student will read one novel in this class usually in class. The film will be presented based on the novel at the end of the semester. An assignment will follow the novel and the film. More information on this project will be provided later.


    If the student is actively engaged and steadily completes assignments in class, homework will be minimal. Quality and quantity are the desired goals for each assignment.

Make-up work

    If absent, the student must check the “I missed you” box upon return and has two days to make

    up the work. A zero will be awarded on the third day. If the student misses part or the entire film, the student must rent the film or borrow the film from the teacher. This class relies

    heavily on class work and participation, if a student is absent more than seven days, the student may not receive credit for this class or the semester grade may be dropped one full letter grade. Showing up to school every day is extremely important!

Late Work

    Late work will be deducted 40% before any grading is done. In other words, the highest score a student can earn from a perfect assignment is a 60%. Work that is over 1 day late will not be accepted (consult with the school chart for late work policies if you need additional information).

Required materials

    Composition journal

    Grading Rules A 90-100 - Be respectful

    B 80-89 - Be on time, be engaged (no sleeping in class) and be productive C 70-79 - Absolutely no electronic devices (cell phones, headphones, etc.)

    D 60-69 - Use the restroom during passing periods

    F 50-59

Week Eight Week One

    Chapter 4-Visual Design Chapter 1-The Art of Watching Films

    Pages 90-104 Pages 2-8

    Feature Film: Feature Film:

Week Nine Week Two

    Chapter 4-Visual Design Chapter 1- The Art of Watching Films Cont.

    Pages 106-117 Pages 8-17

    Feature Film: Feature Film:

Week Ten Week Three

    Chapter 12-Analysis of the Whole Film Chapter 2 Thematic Elements

    Pages 368-377 Pages 20-29

    Feature Film: Feature Film:

Week Eleven Week Four

    Chapter 12-Analysis of the Whole Film Chapter 2-Thematic Elements Cont.

    Cont. Pages 29-36

    Pages 377-387 Feature Film:

    Feature Film:

Week Twelve Week Five

    Chapter Fifteen-Other Special Film Exp. Chapter 3-Fictional and Dramatic Elements

    Pages 475-483 Pages 40-54

    Feature Film: Feature Film:

Week Thirteen Week Six

    Chapter Fifteen-Other Special Film Chapter 3-Fictional and Dramatic Cont.

    Experiences Pages 55-69

    Pages 487-502 Feature Film:

    Feature Film:

Weeks Fourteen-Seventeen Week Seven

    Special chapters Chapter 3-Fictional and Dramatic Elements


    Pages 69-82

    Feature Film:

Course Outline (Subject to Change)

Week One

    Chapter 1-The Art of Watching Films Pages 2-8

Week Two

    Chapter 1- The Art of Watching Films Cont. Pages 8-17

Week Three

    Chapter 2 Thematic Elements

    Pages 20-29

Week Four

    Chapter 2-Thematic Elements Cont. Pages 29-36

Week Five

    Chapter 3-Fictional and Dramatic Elements Pages 40-54

Week Six

    Chapter 3-Fictional and Dramatic Elements Cont. Pages 55-69

Week Seven

    Chapter 3-Fictional and Dramatic Elements Cont. Pages 69-82

Week Eight

    Chapter 4-Visual Design

    Pages 90-104

Week Nine

    Chapter 4-Visual Design

    Pages 106-117

Week Ten

    Chapter 12-Analysis of the Whole Film Pages 368-377

Week Eleven

    Chapter 12-Analysis of the Whole Film Cont. Pages 377-387

Week Twelve

    Chapter Fifteen-Other Special Film Experiences Pages 475-483

Week Thirteen

Chapter Fifteen-Other Special Film Experiences

    Pages 487-502

    Tentative Schedule August 17: Introduction

    August 22-24: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

    August 29-31: A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951) September 5-7: The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) September 12-14: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) September 19-21: Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973) September 26-28: Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) October 3-5: Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)

    October 10-12: Bladerunner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

    October 17-19: A Room with a View (James Ivory, 1986) October 24: Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994) Oct. 31-Nov. 2: The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan, 1997) November 7-9: He Got Game (Spike Lee, 1998)

    November 14-16: Shakespeare in Love (John Madden, 1998) November 21: Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1999)

    November 28-30: Mansfield Park (Patricia Rozema, 1999) December 5-7: Magnolia (P. T. Anderson, 1999)

    Final Examination: December 14, 9:30AM. Students who choose to take the final exam must

    submit their final exam assignment to my office (310F New College) by 12:30 PM on this date.

    Details about the exam will be available later in the semester.

    Texts: Corrigan, Timothy. Film and Literature (bookstore)

Monaco, James. How to Read a Film, 3rd ed. (bookstore; optional but useful)

    Banks, Russell. The Sweet Hereafter (bookstore)

    Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness (web site)

    Forster, E. M. A Room with a View (web site)

    Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night and The Tempest (web site)

    Attendance: I expect all students to attend all classes.

    Grades: The two essays and class project will count 20% each. In-class and web site participation count 20% each.

    WebCT: Course information, the syllabus, assignments, some texts, notes, web site links, and other information will be posted in the WebCT web site. I=ll ask you to upload class assignments to the site and to post your presentations there. We will correspond with each other on the site about the class. Using the bulletin board, we will conduct on-going conversations about the films we discuss and will often extend in-class discussions to the bulletin board.

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