Week 5: Project 2 and Final Reflection (Due 7/1)

  • 2-3 pages double spaced, 12 font; copy and paste to OpenLab  July 1, in a Comment below
  • It is fine to consult the course texts or films as you prepare your essay, though quotes/minute detail not necessary
  • Do not consult websites or outside sources
  • Do not read your classmates’ posts before you write your own. After you post, you may be interested in reading your classmates’ reflections on this period of online learning

Your final assignment is to synthesize, or bring together, the material we studied in our weeks together. In a 4 paragraph essay (intro, 2 body paragraphs, conclusion),  discuss two text&film pairings (1 text and its film companion + a second text and its film companion) from class. What do the two pairs have in common with each other? How do they differ?  Your response can focus on ideas and themes, and/or literary and cinematic techniques. What connections can we establish between these works and our own experience?

In a separate  paragraph below your essay, labeled REFLECTION, reflect on a few things you have learned in this class in terms of literature, film, or history, as well as how you feel about the asynchronous delivery and course modality. Please also include a bit here about your experience this past year taking courses online.  For reference, I am sharing with you an article I wrote in May 2020– my own feelings about online coursework have evolved since then, and I’d like to learn about your thoughts and experiences ( I care, and your feedback is so important to know as the college plans for the future).

Extra Credit option: Include an extra body paragraph in your essay about about Baldwin’s and Coates’s work and Peck’s film. I will offer Extra Credit for this (a half-step increase on the final course grade, eg: B to B+).  Note: this is purely optional!

 

25 Comments

  1. kezia king

    Is the project 2 suppose to go here? Within this page?

  2. Caroline Chamberlin Hellman

    Hi Kezia,
    Yes, you can comment below, or if for any reason you prefer to start a new post, that is fine, too.

  3. Makai

    Sorry professor it posted it and I didn’t finish yet

  4. Makai

    In this class, we have watched movies and read books that the movies came from. Two films stuck out to me: “A Rasin In The Sun” and “The Swimmer”. Both are different themed plots but that what’s special about them. The Swimmer was about a man who wants to get home but he doesn’t remember or chooses not to remember that he’s the reason his family is broken. Then in The Rasin In The Sun we see an African American family struggling to get money and the father doing whatever it takes to get them out of their situation.

    The Rasin In the Sun theme was all about family values because Walter wanted to invest in the alcohol business. After all, he would make a lot of money from it and it would benefit his family. On the other hand, Mama used some of the check money to get her family out of their house and into a bigger one so they can have some sort of independence and freedom and overall a better place to live. They both had good intentions but if the decision was up to me I would agree with Mama because ironically mothers know best even when we think we’re right.

    The Swimmer shows us how Ned’s alcoholism destroyed his family life and reputation. For example, when Ned gets home we see how his house is rotten, empty, and falling apart. Which symbolizes his family and his life, alcohol lets him have a rotten and empty life. Ned claims he doesn’t remember and that he’s a good guy but to me, I know that he’s lying. He has a guilty mind and the only way he could cope with that is if he lived in a lie.

    In conclusion, both films are amazing and have deep meanings to them when you really pay attention to everything. With the books, I feel like it’s harder to really relate to the characters when you can’t see their emotions. Overall if I could recommend these two films I would especially the Swimmer because it’s crazy how a movie from the ’60s can still have a deep meaning in today’s world.
    Reflection:
    In this class, I learned that every movie we saw had a deep message to it and it’s up to us to direct what the film is trying to tell us. I used to stick to horror films but maybe I should explore other movies and analyze what the film’s message is. I’m not used to online classes in fact I hate it but I pushed through and I couldn’t thank you enough for giving us interesting things to read and watch. My goal in life is to make a horror movie and in this class, I’ve learned that horror sometimes is the message that the movie is trying to tell us.
    Thank you for having me as a student for the summer semester.

  5. kezia king

    When we think of films, so many films develop from plays, books and most importantly stories. A filmmaker has the power to bring something to the screen alive with lightning that affects the mood of certain scenes, edits, camera angles, and so much more. We see things like lighting and camera angles really bring films together in both The Swimmer original short story by John Cheever (1964) adapted into a film by Frank Perry (1968) and The Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959) later adapted into the film by Kenny Leon (2008). In the swimmer on the face of it, rich and popular Ned Merril swims through his county neighbor pools, encountering neighbors who don’t like him much and some who like him. Going through each pool things are revealed about his life including his failures leading up to his death and tragedy. In the Raisin the sun a big African American family “ The Youngers “ are living in poverty on the south side of Chicago. Each has a dream and wants different things but needs money to achieve it. When their mother finally receives money from their late father, things take a turn for the worst and some of the money’s gone. In the end they decide to trust in the family and invest their other money and move into a house in a white neighborhood and leave for a better life. In both stories we see how each filmmaker really brings the story to life using elements of film like lighting and angles to tell a story and paint a bigger picture.
    In The Raisin In The Sun, lightning helps the director tell the story of where the “ Youngers” come from. Their tiny apartment is almost always dark as well as their neighborhood so when light shines on characters in specific scenes we see symbolization come into play. The audience doesn’t really see the sun shining much and mama tries to keep it shining when it does on her plants. Even from the beginning of the movie when mama is introduced to us we see her walking through her neighborhood and it looks gloomy and sad. There are a lot of close up shots from the beginning where the light hits certain angles of her face and shadows the other. This contributes to the mood of the film. Contributes to this idea of living through tough times as dark represents a sad mood often. In the play mama talks a lot about how her “plants never get enough light and water” the play even describes lighting and Lenon brought this to life. Light or should I say the sun in this film represents hope and seeing by how the movie even from the start and continuing on it’s not much of this foreshadows there’s not much of any hope but in certain times we see it as lighting changes. In the end when the Youngers are moving, we see a light shine on the plant symbolizing a new life and hope. Like The Raisin In The Sunlight also helped contribute to the story of The swimmer. In The Swimmer light also reflects life. We see this from the very beginning of the film how the sun shines on Ned, shines on the garden showing good times. We see later on a little farther away there is a dark cloud in the distance. This later creates a dark and sad tone to the story as we get an understanding why. The darkness resembles rot. We wonder why one side is light and the other dark. Perry keeps us interested as our minds drift as to why he chose certain lighting for scenes. In the short story. Is it because he’s trying to say as it gets darker and darker and light goes away we are getting closer to the sad truth. From my view the way the directors set the mood of the scenes with lighting added to my thoughts about the film. I enjoyed the hidden undertones that weren’t exactly stated but actually showed. Seeing how lighting and shadows add to the film I got to learn a lot and get to use it within my own work.
    Camera angles play a huge role in also telling the story in both films, as it contributes to the mood of scenes. In The Raisin In The Sun we see how angles can reflect point of view and emotions. We see this when mamas give her monologues throughout the film. A scene in particular includes the scene where she’s crying and screaming about how Walter doesn’t have the money anymore. Lennon uses this opportunity to close up on mama’s face as she screams “ how?” and “ why?”. By using this moment to loosen up on her face we get to see her expression down to the crease in her forehead from stress and the tears uncontrollably streaming down her face. This angle paints a picture and makes us feel for mama. Camera angles really leave room open for point of view in monologues as it is expressed. Being able to really see what the character is going through and their views without telling it all. We can just feel it. This is similar in The Swimmer film. In The Swimmer film we see how camera angles contribute to the story by showing what’s going on in the scene. In the opening scene we see how Perry uses a wide angle shot to give a sense of who, what, and where. But not by telling but by showing. Without knowing much about the character this shot helps us make certain inferences. It’s a hot summer day, the gardens are well kept and the first neighbors are all dressed up. We get a feel of where Ned comes from. He’s seemingly rich and popular and in other words who he “ “seemingly” is. We get to see how camera angles really contribute to bring these stories alive and not just that but the characters as well. Watching the different point of views within camera angles really made the films enjoyable. Whether it’s a wide angle or close up I got to understand the story a little more just with visual aspects.
    Lastly, Even though both The Raisin In The Sun and The Swimmer have a lot in common they do have their differences. In terms of transition. We see how the director in the Swimmers uses transition as a way to also tell the story. Transition brings the story alive as we see light and dark, pool to pool, and new people to newer people. Transition is clearly evident as opposed to A Raisin In The Sun where when we see a lot of the transition it’s like cuts in the film. Doesn’t flow as much. But instead highlights things like music for transition while the scenes are cut. We see this from when Walter stops his monologue from talking to his wife. The scene is done and into the next scene we hear what sounds like jazz music and see mama coming in. Transition is one of the differences the two had. Both directors helped really create a picture and mood for me which added to my experience watching these films. Me wanting to be a director I got to see how other directors would do certain scenes from the text. I got to think about what they did and what I would do differently . Overall both films really brought the text to life even when most think it will be lost in translation.

    REFLECTION
    Being in this class I have grown and learned in so many ways. As well as I have so many takeaways with me wanting to be a filmmaker. I’ve learned literature and film tie in with each other in so many ways even though they differ. You can really bring a text to life by using things like dialogue, angles, editing, cinematography, and more. It’s not just telling the story but showing the story letting it play out and unfold in front of you using techniques to make it come alive. Makes me think why we need things like film and directors. Like magic to a screen, films can make us feel things. These covid years have been tough, working and going to school from home learning how to do things from my phone. I really got to enjoy this class cause I got to focus on my craft and learn new things about it. I loved the lectures and felt like it was very 101 with my professor. Getting the chance to work on my craft in school has been awesome even online. I get to take away so many things I would want to put in my own films. Being at home I kind of lost a lot of inspiration and motivation. Watching films everyday after doing work is great and I loved it but I’m ready to go back into the world again and make my own instead of watching others and I feel like this class really inspired that.

    Often text to films usually are hard to translate and often a lot of things are left out.

  6. Brian Chan

    Throughout the course, we’ve gone through multiple texts and films. One of the pairings that have significance to me are Warsan Shire’s “Home” and Charlie Chaplin, The Immigrant. The second pair includes A Raisin in the Sun, one by Kenny Leon and the other by Lorraine Hansberry. These pairings have taught me a on focusing on themes and main ideas while establishing connections.
    In comparison to Warsan Shire’s “Home”, Charlie Chaplin The Immigrant focuses on the idea of hardships of moving away from home to seek a new life. The theme of this is that people move on when they are not content enough with their lives. There are quite a number of differences between this pair. While “Home” doesn’t offer visuals, it is descriptive. An example of this is when the text mentions, “your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body.” Although its not literal, it does give an impression on what to expect and assume. With text, the writer is also able to depict how the character feels such as the mention of, “one prison guard in the night is better than a truckload of men who look like your father.” While this doesn’t literally say how the character feels, we can tell he/she is traumatized by abuse and is fearful. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin The Immigrant provides the audience with many visuals. We see the characters doing things such as gambling, eating, and having conversations. As its a film, it also implements the use of audio, which helps set a mood. A connection established between these works and my own experience is that its often how to understand how anyone truly feels until you walk in their shoes. Text functions as a way for us to mentally understand the character while films function to show us the surroundings, environment, and perspective of the character.
    In comparison to Lorraine Hansberry’s text version of A Raisin in the Sun, Kenny Leon’s film version depicts the struggles of living as an African American in the earlier years of American. These two works focus on the theme of virtue in the face of hardship. A main difference between the pair is the use techniques. Kenny’s version implements angles and close up shots to effectively convey the characters’ feelings and moods. Lorraine’s version implements narrating. An example of this is the mention of ,”He rises and finds a cigarette in her handbag on the table and crosses to the little window and looks out, smoking and deeply enjoying this first one.” While we can use this information to imagine what is happening, we miss out on some aspects and other details such as the character’s facial expression, the window view, and the type of cigarette. A connection we can establish between these works and our own experiences is through real world scenarios. An example of this my childhood friend Kevin. Just like the Younger family in A Raisin in the Sun, Kevin’s family was very poor and struggled to make ends meet. They even sold the candy they collected after Halloween. Their apartment was small and crowed much like the apartment of the Younger family. Despite being poor, Kevin’s family always seemed happy to have each other and I think they are very much like the Younger family. Works such as A Raisin in the Sun often reminds us that despite being a film of text, there are a lot of similarities between us.
    Now that I’ve consulted the texts and films, I have a good understanding on how compare and contrast with each other. While each work has its own disadvantages, the advantages even out. Both the films and texts cover the weaknesses of each other. Through careful analysis, we can effectively determine what different works share and what they focus on.

    Reflection
    A few things I’ve learned from this class are the use of film angles and conveying of details. I also learned how to connect film/text scenarios with real world experiences. The delivery of the asynchronous class is somewhat puzzling yet easy to manage for me. I feel that when you communicate during different times without being online at the same time, it feels a lot like speaking to a computer AI. The good thing about the class being asynchronous is the availability of time to prioritize assignments and work at my own pace. Overall my experience this past year taking courses has been laid back. I took a year off from classes to fill in for someone at work so this is my first summer semester. It feels super rushed and pressuring but with most classes being asynchronous, its easier to manage and do everything at my own pace.

  7. Farai Matangira

    Writer and historian James Truslow Adams in his best-selling 1931 book Epic America described the American Dream as “that dream of land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” This definition of the American Dream throughout the years has been interpreted or advertised as the ability to become wealthy simply by working hard. Materialism has been a strong aspect of this dream, with property ownership being marketed as a status symbol. The narrative of the American Dream has greatly impacted the social dynamics in the United States, and more specifically, in literature and film as well. The stories in “A Raisin In The Sun” by Lauren Hansberry and “The Swimmer” by John Cheever touched on the topic of the American Dream from different perspectives. A Raisin in The Sun chronicles the many dreams of a poor black working-class family on the Southside of Chicago, while The Swimmer was from the perspective of white middle-class families in suburban New York City. Although from different perspectives, the two bodies of work have similarities in the way they use storytelling to critique American society. They both touch on the topics of classism, race, wealth, and of course, the American Dream.

    In A Raisin in The Sun, the story is about the collective dreams of the Younger Family to move out of their cramped apartment and into a home with a yard, garden, and space for each of the members. The story is also about the individual dreams of each of the characters. Walter dreams of becoming rich and owning his own business. Ruth, similar to Lena, has dreams of a happy family in a bigger and better home, without the worry of living paycheck to paycheck. Beneatha wants to be a doctor and to build a family of her own. Overall, their American Dream is well planned out, however, many external factors become obstacles. The Younger family had to deal with housing discrimination and racism in their efforts to turn their dreams into reality. Walter’s dreams faced obstacles when he lost the investment money. Lena’s dreams were also delayed when Walter lost the insurance money. Beneatha’s dreams depended on that insurance money as well. Ruth’s dreams were also delayed by her having to work multiple jobs and still not having enough money. Hansberry uses storytelling to signify the difficulties, and to some extent, the unrealistic perceptions of the American Dream. The American Dream said work hard and you will become wealthy. The Younger family were hard workers, yet they seemed to struggle to dig themselves out of poverty. Was it a fault of their own that prevented them from realizing the American dream? Or were there social, economic, and physical structures imposed on them that made it difficult? A Raisin in The Sun certainly seems to suggest the latter as the most plausible reason.

    In The Swimmer, John Cheever depicts the American Dream from the perspective of an affluent white neighborhood in the suburbs of New York City. Each house a double story with a swimming pool, tennis courts, and endless gardens, resembled a dreamy elite suburb segregated from the noisy and cramped urban environment like the one described in A Raisin in The Sun. The residents of this neighborhood had a sense of fulfillment. They had made it. They had achieved the American dream. This perception was well portrayed by the main character, Ned Merrill. He was a confident and successful businessman, who had made it socially and financially. However, as the story went on, some hints suggest the actual reality of Neddy’s life. It turns out that he is an alcoholic, who had been outcasted by neighbors, friends, and family. In relation to the American Dream, Ned’s situation resembles a façade or a false reality, which is what the American Dream can be attributed to. Ned’s story is a story of someone refusing to come to terms with his reality. It also shows how it is easily possible to lose all that you have in a short period of time. It is a gloomy and pessimistic critique of American society, that I believe is necessary in order to start a discourse around the reality of the American Dream.

    The American Dream, as James Truslow Adams suggested, is supposed to be an ethos on liberty, opportunity, and equality. However, I believe that its origins have been misconstrued by systems of oppression, discrimination, and consumerism that feed on the dreams of many people. A Raisin in The Sun and The Swimmer are stories that show the realities of that dream. The Younger family is depicted as a family struggling to attain their dreams, while Ned Merrill struggles to come to the realization of his failures. Although there have been many success stories attributed to the American Dream, there is still much to be debated about its impact on American society today, and the many generations to come.

    REFLECTION

    I have certainly learned a lot throughout the few weeks of this class. I have become more interested in fictional film and literature, I now pay more attention to the underlying topics embedded in stories, and I am more knowledgeable on many of the social topics in American society. Given the circumstances, the class was asynchronously well structured and delivered, even though I wish it were in-person. It would have been more interesting to have in-class debates on other people’s ideas on the class content.
    Taking online classes overall has had its pros and cons. For instance, I was able to sign up for more classes than I usually would because previously I would have to factor in commute time to class. On the other hand, online classes lack the face-to-face interaction that creates an immersive and interactive class. Overall, in the future, I think there can be a balance in terms of in-person vs online classes. There may be some lectures that can be taken at home, and some that can be taken in person. This will benefit both students and the school in terms of resource usage and time management.

  8. Max Rodriguez

    Throughout our entire time in class, we’ve explored many different forms of media and literature that take inspiration from each other. Two Films that resonated a lot with me were Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant and Eleanor and Frank Perry’s The Swimmer. These films take inspiration from and were inspired to make Home by Warsan Shire and John Cheever’s The Swimmer respectively. Both films and literary pieces were very beautiful in storytelling and showed the importance of subtle undertones that wrap the story together. The theme of home is enveloped in all of these stories and continues to show as the plot unfolds. Although there are very different contexts for each of our protagonists, their struggles and desires share similarities that encapsulate the idea of home.

    Charlie Chaplin, playing himself, in The Immigrant is the story of an immigrant’s experience moving to America through more comedic storytelling. Home by Warsan Shire is a story that takes similarities from the film but through more serious circumstances. We see both stories on immigration and leaving one’s home to go venture to new territories but Chaplin utilizes his comedic approach while Shire issues more serious reasons as to why the character left their home. Shire’s character tells about how the problems at home such as crime, poverty, racism and other societal issues are the reason for leaving home. They do not feel welcome at home anymore and the atmosphere doesn’t feel like home. Both stories talk about the idea of leaving home and while Chaplin’s film uses comedy to speak on the harsh truths on immigration, adjusting to new territory is a struggle for both characters in their stories.

    The Swimmer is a story by John Cheever that was written in the New Yorker on July 18, 1964 and saw a cinematic release in 1968 by Eleanor and Frank Perry. Both stories are based off each other with the film extrapolating the story more and bringing more life into the characters that Cheever originally created. The story follows Ned Merrill as he swims through different pools to take him home. However, each pool unravels a new memory that Ned slowly begins to remember about who he is and where his life is at. Opposite to the previously mentioned films and stories, The Swimmer is focused on going back home while showing themes of the idea of home. Home by Warsan Shire talked about home being inside the mouth of a shark and in The Swimmer, we assumed home is Ned’s safehaven but find out he is unwanted and left out in the rain. Home became Ned’s sanctuary but turned out to be a place that he is no longer allowed to enter. This difference between The Immigrant and Shire’s Home is that both stories talked on leaving home but The Swimmer speaks on returning home yet all stories both tell how home is not always what it seems.

    I was very fortunate to be able to experience all of these films and stories because of it’s surreal and realistic storytelling. There’s many different elements that come into play when telling these stories and the themes of home can be relatable to anybody. Shire’s Home was written in 2017 but a century ago was Chaplin’s The Immigrant in 1917. This is what I believe is the most important idea behind the concepts of this class. Many films take from literature as well as literature from films despite different time periods. All of these stories we learned about all show their own inspirations from each other by their struggles when it comes to their homes.

    Reflection
    I personally had a very good time with this class and its asynchronicity due to my need to work at the moment. I found all the material to be feasible and I enjoyed a lot of the topics we discussed. I still mention to friends that The Swimmer was my favorite film due to its concept and I most likely would not have stumbled across this story if it wasn’t for this class. I believe this class has been a lot more enjoyable than previous classes and very doable for me as well. I spend a lot of time working now that being able to work on my own time without having to cut into my work hours was extremely helpful for me. It was a pleasure to experience a lot of the content we dealt with in such a short amount of time.

  9. alex

    Throughout history People have migrated to America to achieve the American dream. People migrate for many different reason for a better life, to escape war but people struggle and face many challenges while migrating, facing traumatizing events in their life whether it be racial discrimination, social inequality, and facing difficulties in employment. Despite being in a better new place in the land of the free, people still have to unfair treatment along the process. By comparing text Home by Warsan Shire and Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry we can see what migration can do to someone and films Raisin In the Sun (2008) and Charlie Chaplin The Immigrants (1917) we can see what migration can do to someone and by contrasting both text and film we can see how there are different treatments when it comes to race.

    When comparing the films Charlie Chaplin, The Immigrants (1917) and Raisin In the Sun (2008) we can see how migration is a big step in life and something very hard to do. In the film Raisin In the Sun we can see how moving to a new places was easy but something that the Walter’s family has to adjust to especially the new environment, that is something there not use to since the neighborhood Clyborne park that Walter and his family are moving to is not a place where a lot African Americans live in. Moving from one place to another is not so easy especially when one is already adjusted to where one is currently living in. In the film Charlie Chaplin, The Immigrant we can see how the process of migration isn’t so pleasant since people have sea sickness and the people on the boat look depress and bored because they have to be in a ship till they get to their destination. But there are also differences between these two films since one is dealing with migration to a new location which is a neighborhood there not use to and in the other part we have people in a boat waiting to get off to a new country. We can see how it migration can also bring people closer like the people on the boat in the film of The Immigrant and Raisin In The Sun in the ending it looks like Walters family has a stronger bond compare to the beginning of the film.

    When comparing texts Home by Warsan Shire and Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry we can see how one has to struggle along the way in the process of migration. In Home we can see that Shire had to get dirty and do things she hadn’t done in her life like crawl under fences and many more challenges that no one wishes to come across in their journey of finding a new home. Shire did not want to leave her home since it was something she was attach to but she had to since there were problems back home that she had to escape from such as war. In Raisin in The Sun we can see how Walter faced racial discrimination by the neighborhood committee. The neighborhood wanted to buy back the property that Walter had bought because the neighborhood didn’t an African American and his family ruining the peace that was set up by the neighborhood. wanted to leave his home since it was not spacious enough for him and his family he wanted a place that was more comfortable and something that him and his family would enjoy waking up. But these two text are also unlike in a way that one leaves home from facing war and a harsh environment and another leaves home for a more comfortable one. The difference that we can see is that
    Migration can lead to a better life but the process of it can be frustrating and a struggle having to face un fair treatment because of race and to adjust to a new place.

    Reflection:
    This class was great cause I got to learn how to analyze films how directors use different camera shots to display a certain mood, emotion or just to make the film more interesting to make it feel like the audience is in the movie. I also learned when its right to use certain camera shots and when not to use a certain camera shot. But most importantly I learned that there were beautiful messages throughout the film and text that I got to read and see that play a part in today like migration and social discrimination, these problems can been screen in our today world and it looks like we still are trying to make a change to these problems.

  10. Ashley James

    In this short semester we read some thought and emotion provoking stories and watched the pairing film, watching the paired films after reading the stories allowed us to see the different techniques and perspectives the director used to emphasize different scenes. We have read stories that all have similarities and differences amongst each other. Warsan Shire “Home with it’s paired film Charlie Chaplin, The Immigrant has vast similarities and differences compared to John Cheever, “The Swimmer” with its paired film The Swimmer directed by Eleanor and Frank Perry.
    “Home” is a poem about a country that has become dangerous to live in and the residents fleeing for safety. The poem describes the thoughts, emotions and actions while witnessing their home get destroyed, The Immigrant is a short film that shows the journey of immigrants to America and what they endure once they reach. The Swimmer is about a man’s sudden mission and goal to swim home by using his neighbor’s pools, while on this journey he is given hints that the life he thought he has is no longer. One similarity between The Immigrant and The Swimmer are that no matter who you are, you aren’t exempt from bad treatment. In The Immigrant, there is a scene when a customer is short 10 cents on his bill, the customer looked to be of an upper social class, despite his possible social class status he was roughed up and physically and violently removed from the premises. In The Swimmer, Ned Merrill seemed to be a part of an upper social class as well, his former life is no longer and he is an alcoholic, which has caused his family’s demise. He has different encounters with his former friends and some of them chastise him and treat him like an outcast. Both of the films showcased that it doesn’t matter your level of class in society you can get treated unfairly. Another similarity is that both In “Home” and The Swimmer, the place that they called home is not what they remember it to be. In “Home”, they are witnessing their home become this dangerous place to escape, and in The Swimmer, the home and the family he thinks is still in a good current standing is not anymore.
    In “Home” the goal was to leave their now dangerous country they called home to get a safer place to call home and the goal in The Immigrant is to come to the United States to obtain a better life with better opportunities. In The Swimmer, Ned Merrill had all these things that they are seeking, he had a safe haven he called home with his family, he seemed to come from an upper societal class and was able to afford to purchase a home with a tennis court in a neighborhood where every house had a pool. The ultimate goal for a lot of people especially immigrant families is to live the American Dream, have your own family and to own a home that can stay in your family for generations and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Ned Merrill had the American dream that so many are risking their lives to come here to achieve.
    In conclusion, the characters come from different backgrounds and it’s clear that the characters in “Home” and The Immigrant were not granted with the same opportunities as Ned and his counterparts. His alcoholism was the reason for him to lose what he had but if he knew the hardship many had and are going through to have what he had, he may have cherished his blessings even more.
    Reflection
    I have learned different techniques that filmmakers use to emphasis and portray certain scenes and the pairing emotions, with this new knowledge I’m sure my film watching experience will be different from now on. I also really enjoyed the readings and the films we have read and watched and I am grateful I was allowed to read the classic and timeless play “A Raisin in the Sun”; without this class I am not sure if I would’ve carved off time to do so. This was my first time taking an asynchronous class and I am now a fan. I’ve always been a person to say online classes aren’t for me but now that I am an adult having asynchronous options are conducive to my lifestyle. I do miss the classroom settings and being able to interact with my classmates, but I am grateful with this type of coursework because I am able to sharpen my time management skills.
    You have been a great professor! Thank you!

  11. Al Saffie

    As a student of the Electrical Engineering program, I am always enrolled in classes dealing with intense mathematics and physics. The crunching of numbers can become overwhelming—and boring. “Films and literature” was one of the most fun courses I’ve ever taken; seriously, this experience was more than I expected. It was good to be in a class where our opinions were recommended, and we were not scrutinized for having a difference of opinions. I think everyone should have the right to voice their opinion and thoughts on a subject without the fear of being ruled wrong. I hate having to provide an opinion on a subject and then being told that I was wrong—who does? The freedom to voice our own opinion was what I enjoyed most about this course. Also, I loved the films we were assigned to watch.

    I liked “The Swimmer”, and Chaplin’s, “The Immigrant”. I was happy to be introduced to Chaplin, I found admiration for his work. It is no secret that Chaplin is a pioneer in the film industry. He was instrumental in bringing new ideas, and techniques to films. Many modern-day comedians and stand-ups often speak of him as an inspiration, and I can now understand why. I decided to watch the 1992 biographical film starring Robert Downey Jr. Charlie was one of the greatest talents the film industry has ever seen. I have a much greater appreciation of films, and their history now, and it stemmed from watching “The Immigrant”. I believe silent films are masterpieces of filmmaking. There is something I find alluring about these films; however, I can’t exactly point out what it is. The challenge of making a film without sound puts a lot of pressure on actors. I think this drives them to become better in their craft, and it shows. There is much emphasis placed on their motion, mannerisms, and emotions. I tried to watch a film from the modern era without the sound—I know this cannot be done—without confusion. Still, I did this, in hopes that I would be able to appreciate the acting. I found myself staring into the screen being extremely confused. I also noticed instances of actors providing little to no emotions in their acting. After this observation, I found myself becoming disinterested in the film. “The immigrant” made an impact on me; likewise, “The Simmer” was another film I enjoyed. I found myself questioning every event in this film. I was taken through an intense thinking process as I struggled to understand the experiences of Neddy. I wanted to identify Ned as something relative to everyday life. At the end of the film, from my observations, I determined Ned was a symbol of the American dream. It was achievable in the beginning and then eventually disappeared or became unappreciated. Both films were great works of their time—in my opinion.

    There are many things to take away from “The Swimmer” and ‘The Immigrant”. The most common observation can be seen in the message of both films. They capture a journey, filled with despair and worries. “The Immigrant” takes us through the experiences of weary travelers leaving their homes to seek a better life. It can be determined that this journey started as one of “hope”, but it quickly gets overtaken with exhaustion and difficulties. In the end, the journey takes an immigrant into a situation where he is not able to adjust. Sitting in the restaurant, Chaplin’s character seems to be a fish out of water. The only connection he can make is with a fellow traveler he was fond of. “The Immigrant” takes us through this journey of hope which navigates a river of tumultuous experiences. Likewise, “The Swimmer” does the same. This film also involves a journey, one that played with my emotions. To understand this, you need to dive into the sequence of the mood in the film. The film starts with the main character, Ned, as someone appreciated by everyone in the story. He is celebrated and appears to have many friends. As his journey continues, it becomes apparent that Ned is not so well received by everyone. Deeper and deeper into his journey, he becomes unappreciated and unwelcomed. In the end, he is broken, lost, and left without anything. Both films provide a context of a journey, a journey of emotions. The differences in the films also lie with their message. The message of the immigrant is of “hope” and “struggle”, while the message of “The Swimmer” is of appreciation. Further obvious observations show that both films are different in the fact that they are from different eras. One film is silent and without color, and the other is not. As such, their medium for connecting with their audience is also different. Chaplin’s, “The Immigrant” relies heavily on camera techniques, while “The Swimmer” plays more with abstract filmmaking. The scenes with the Horse racing, the child, and running with the babysitter all do a great job of proving messages. All these messages collectively work to provide the audience the message of the films. Both films are exceptional pieces of work, and I enjoyed watching them. As much as they are similar in their methods of delivering their message, they are different in some of the techniques they employ. Additionally, I enjoyed the additional works that were assigned in the course.

    The additional works by James Baldwin, Raoul Peck, and Ta-Nehisi Coates were able to bring together the perspective of the current race issue in America. These were a great addition to the course, and I felt they touched upon this issue exceptionally. James Baldwin is an extraordinary man, reading his letter, was so moving. I was able to connect with his words. In his writing, I felt a similar feeling in his sense of concern to that of Hailie Salassie’s address to the United Nation’s General Assembly (Recommend reading). Peck’s film, “I’m not your Negro”, was also great to the course. the film exposed me to the history of oppression and injustice face by the African and colored community of America. Likewise, Ta-Nhis Coates, letter captures the ongoing tension and relations of the African Americans with the police community. The highlighting of policing showing and the contrasting with his experiences was great in illustrating his message. These pieces of film and writings do a great job of highlight the black man’s experience in American, and what is striking is that this is somewhat still going on. I like these final additions to the course, very thought-provoking.

    I enjoyed the films and literature featured in this course. “The Immigrant” and “The Swimmer” were two of my favorites. They both used a similar method in delivering their message to the audience; however, their stories were of different meanings. Nevertheless, they were exceptional works of film. Likewise, the last pieces of literature and film, by Baldwin, Peck, and Coates were also great. They capture the struggles and challenges faced by the African American community and bring them into perspective. Collectively, I enjoyed having the opportunity to be exposed to Chaplin, finding an appreciation of silent films; and, having the opportunity to dive into race topics. I enjoyed this course.
    REFLECTION

    I enjoy watching films. This was the sole reason I decided to take this course. As much as I love watching films, I enjoy reading. I am a big advocate for reading, I believe it does everyone good. I think learning and discovering new things are all great for personal growth. However, there is a big difference between the things I read the films I watch. I prefer reading about personal growth, or something that helps to develop a skill. Most of the books I read cannot be made into films. One of my favorites is “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill. I can hardly see that being made into a film. This is my reason for watching films, I find it difficult to read a book and then having to watch a film that may entirely change a lead character, or the plot. This disappoints me; “Game of Thrones”, was one of such disappointments. I found myself hating the show; although, the filmmakers were outstanding in their effort to grasp the idea of G.R.R. Martin. Maybe I’m picky, or maybe I hate having to change my opinion on something I have already watched or read.

    The videos on camera techniques were exceptional in providing me some new skills. I am an avid photographer with mediocre skills. I travel a lot and carry around my Nikon D7200 with me every time. I’ve snapped shots of many of my favorite buildings like the Eiffel Tower, the Big Ben, London Bridge, and much other building in Europe. I always wanted to be able to capture my subjects with the right focus and frame. The videos were great in providing me some new techniques. I have already noticed some developments in my recent works, it was a great learning experience

    I will take much away from this course and will recommend it to my colleagues. I feel more courses need to adopt this approach. We were never given tests and I had fun watching films. The anxiety of taking a test can sometimes be overwhelming and can deter our mood towards a class–this course took that away. I was happy to be introduced to Chaplin and silent films. Overall, this class was a lot of fun, something I have never experienced before. Compared to the number-crunching course I usually take, this was a welcoming change.

  12. Al Saffie

    As a student of the Electrical Engineering program, I am always enrolled in classes dealing with intense mathematics and physics. The crunching of numbers can become overwhelming—and boring. “Films and literature” was one of the most fun courses I’ve ever taken; seriously, this experience was more than I expected. It was good to be in a class where our opinions were recommended, and we were not scrutinized for having a difference of opinions. I think everyone should have the right to voice their opinion and thoughts on a subject without the fear of being ruled wrong. I hate having to provide an opinion on a subject and then being told that I was wrong—who does? The freedom to voice our own opinion was what I enjoyed most about this course. Also, I loved the films we were assigned to watch.

    I liked “The Swimmer”, and Chaplin’s, “The Immigrant”. I was happy to be introduced to Chaplin, I found admiration for his work. It is no secret that Chaplin is a pioneer in the film industry. He was instrumental in bringing new ideas, and techniques to films. Many modern-day comedians and stand-ups often speak of him as an inspiration, and I can now understand why. I decided to watch the 1992 biographical film starring Robert Downey Jr. Charlie was one of the greatest talents the film industry has ever seen. I have a much greater appreciation of films, and their history now, and it stemmed from watching “The Immigrant”. I believe silent films are masterpieces of filmmaking. There is something I find alluring about these films; however, I can’t exactly point out what it is. The challenge of making a film without sound puts a lot of pressure on actors. I think this drives them to become better in their craft, and it shows. There is much emphasis placed on their motion, mannerisms, and emotions. I tried to watch a film from the modern era without the sound—I know this cannot be done—without confusion. Still, I did this, in hopes that I would be able to appreciate the acting. I found myself staring into the screen being extremely confused. I also noticed instances of actors providing little to no emotions in their acting. After this observation, I found myself becoming disinterested in the film. “The immigrant” made an impact on me; likewise, “The Simmer” was another film I enjoyed. I found myself questioning every event in this film. I was taken through an intense thinking process as I struggled to understand the experiences of Neddy. I wanted to identify Ned as something relative to everyday life. At the end of the film, from my observations, I determined Ned was a symbol of the American dream. It was achievable in the beginning and then eventually disappeared or became unappreciated. Both films were great works of their time—in my opinion.

    There are many things to take away from “The Swimmer” and ‘The Immigrant”. The most common observation can be seen in the message of both films. They capture a journey, filled with despair and worries. “The Immigrant” takes us through the experiences of weary travelers leaving their homes to seek a better life. It can be determined that this journey started as one of “hope”, but it quickly gets overtaken with exhaustion and difficulties. In the end, the journey takes an immigrant into a situation where he is not able to adjust. Sitting in the restaurant, Chaplin’s character seems to be a fish out of water. The only connection he can make is with a fellow traveler he was fond of. “The Immigrant” takes us through this journey of hope which navigates a river of tumultuous experiences. Likewise, “The Swimmer” does the same. This film also involves a journey, one that played with my emotions. To understand this, you need to dive into the sequence of the mood in the film. The film starts with the main character, Ned, as someone appreciated by everyone in the story. He is celebrated and appears to have many friends. As his journey continues, it becomes apparent that Ned is not so well received by everyone. Deeper and deeper into his journey, he becomes unappreciated and unwelcomed. In the end, he is broken, lost, and left without anything. Both films provide a context of a journey, a journey of emotions. The differences in the films also lie with their message. The message of the immigrant is of “hope” and “struggle”, while the message of “The Swimmer” is of appreciation. Further obvious observations show that both films are different in the fact that they are from different eras. One film is silent and without color, and the other is not. As such, their medium for connecting with their audience is also different. Chaplin’s, “The Immigrant” relies heavily on camera techniques, while “The Swimmer” plays more with abstract filmmaking. The scenes with the Horse racing, the child, and running with the babysitter all do a great job of proving messages. All these messages collectively work to provide the audience the message of the films. Both films are exceptional pieces of work, and I enjoyed watching them. As much as they are similar in their methods of delivering their message, they are different in some of the techniques they employ. Additionally, I enjoyed the additional works that were assigned in the course.

    The additional works by James Baldwin, Raoul Peck, and Ta-Nehisi Coates were able to bring together the perspective of the current race issue in America. These were a great addition to the course, and I felt they touched upon this issue exceptionally. James Baldwin is an extraordinary man, reading his letter, was so moving. I was able to connect with his words. In his writing, I felt a similar feeling in his sense of concern to that of Hailie Salassie’s address to the United Nation’s General Assembly (Recommend reading). Peck’s film, “I’m not your Negro”, was also great to the course. the film exposed me to the history of oppression and injustice face by the African and African American community. Likewise, Ta-Nhis Coates, letter captures the ongoing tension and relations of the African Americans with the police community. The highlighting of policing showing and the contrasting with his experiences was great in illustrating his message. These pieces of film and writings do a great job of highlight the black man’s experience in American, and what is striking is that this is somewhat still going on. I like these final additions to the course, very thought-provoking.

    I enjoyed the films and literature featured in this course. “The Immigrant” and “The Swimmer” were two of my favorites. They both used a similar method in delivering their message to the audience; however, their stories were of different meanings. Nevertheless, they were exceptional works of film. Likewise, the last pieces of literature and film, by Baldwin, Peck, and Coates were also great. They capture the struggles and challenges faced by the African American community and bring them into perspective. Collectively, I enjoyed having the opportunity to be exposed to Chaplin, finding an appreciation of silent films; and, having the opportunity to dive into race topics. I enjoyed this course.
    REFLECTION

    I enjoy watching films. This was the sole reason I decided to take this course. As much as I love watching films, I enjoy reading. I am a big advocate for reading, I believe it does everyone good. I think learning and discovering new things are all great for personal growth. However, there is a big difference between the things I read the films I watch. I prefer reading about personal growth, or something that helps to develop a skill. Most of the books I read cannot be made into films. One of my favorites is “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill. I can hardly see that being made into a film. This is my reason for watching films, I find it difficult to read a book and then having to watch a film that may entirely change a lead character, or the plot. This disappoints me; “Game of Thrones”, was one of such disappointments. I found myself hating the show; although, the filmmakers were outstanding in their effort to grasp the idea of G.R.R. Martin. Maybe I’m picky, or maybe I hate having to change my opinion on something I have already watched or read.

    The videos on camera techniques were exceptional in providing me some new skills. I am an avid photographer with mediocre skills. I travel a lot and carry around my Nikon D7200 with me every time. I’ve snapped shots of many of my favorite buildings like the Eiffel Tower, the Big Ben, London Bridge, and much other building in Europe. I always wanted to be able to capture my subjects with the right focus and frame. The videos were great in providing me some new techniques. I have already noticed some developments in my recent works, it was a great learning experience

    I will take much away from this course and will recommend it to my colleagues. I feel more courses need to adopt this approach. We were never given tests and I had fun watching films. The anxiety of taking a test can sometimes be overwhelming and can deter our mood towards a class–this course took that away. I was happy to be introduced to Chaplin and silent films. Overall, this class was a lot of fun, something I have never experienced before. Compared to the number-crunching course I usually take, this was a welcoming change.

  13. Cristina

    Many stories have topics that are very common. Sometimes authors base their stories or ideas based on actual events or personal experiences. This is the case with the short film by Charlie Chaplin, “The Immigrant”, the poem “Home” by Warsan Shire and the story/ film “A Raisin in the Sun”, by Lorraine Hansberry. Both stories have a similar topic in common and that’s living America and working hard to get all your dreams accomplished. These two text and film comparisons focus on the same topic, but they also introduced other topics that influence the main reason of each story.
    Some similarities that these two text and film pairings have is that they discuss the topics of people living in a country or going to a new country looking for better opportunities. In the film, “The Immigrant”, we see the main character coming to America. We see that he is reaching America via boat/ ship and we see his journey there along with other few minor characters. Throughout the film we also see a scene where a mother and daughter lose all their savings and they are crying and feeling helpless. This is an indication that they took all their savings or money that they had to start fresh in another place, but now they had nothing. Once Chaplin’s character actually reaches land, we see that he goes into a restaurant looking for food. We see he is hungry and orders food, but then gets worried because he realizes that he doesn’t have enough money to pay for it. Inside the restaurant he sees how another customer is treated when they don’t have enough money to pay the food that they ordered. In this scene we also see how the same women that was on the ship with Chaplin is sitting in the restaurant with no food on her table. Chaplin invites her to eat with him. This shows us the struggles a lot of immigrants got through when going to a new country. In the poem “Home”, Shire brings up the topic about immigration and describes why a lot of people choose to leave their home country. Many people don’t understand what goes on around the world. She describes the home country as a mouth of shark, which implies that it’s dangerous. It’s so dangerous that they prefer to take the risk in making the journey to a new country because they believe they have a better chance of survival by choosing this option. In the text/ film “A Raisin in the Sun”, we see a low income family looking for a better life. We see Mr. Younger as an ambitious individual who wants a way to make more money to be able to provide more for his family. He knows that living in a small apartment is not an ideal way to have his family live especially when there’s opportunities out there.
    There are also differences between these two films/ text pairings. In “A Raisin in the Sun”, the topic of racism and different social classes is introduced. Racism is introduced when the Youngers buy a house in a white neighborhood, but are frowned upon by families that live in the community. There is a scene when Linder comes to the Youngers house and offers to buy the house back just so they don’t move into the neighborhood. They believe different races shouldn’t live in the same community. The topic of social classes is also introduced when Mr. Younger explains why he is tired of being just a driver for a wealthy family. He also explains his frustration for his mother having to be a maid for a wealthy family or why his wife has to wash stranger’s dirty laundry. All of them need to carry jobs just to make ends meet. It was also frowned upon when Beneatha expressed her goal to become a doctor. Her brother didn’t believe it was the right thing to do, but Beneatha expressed and insisted that she wanted to pursue the career to be someone better in the future.
    Both text/ film pairings discuss similar topics regarding immigration. This is a popular topic that everyone has an opinion on. Whatever the opinion is, it’s important to understand that there’s always a reason for people’s choices and we should always have an open mind and respect it.

    Reflection:
    After taking this class I learned to analyze how text and films compare to each other. I learned about the different filming techniques and how the angle shots in films help develop the story. I liked the idea of reading the text and watching the film based on the text. To be honest, I don’t like to read. I tend to just watch the film version and I am always told that the book version is always better because there is always more details that you can’t always manage to fit in a film. I decided to take this class online because it was asynchronous. It fit my schedule better because I work. I think the outline of the class and schedule of when assignments were due was clear. I do miss the actual classroom setting because it’s not the same experience when you are virtual.

  14. Oliver Hadi

    “I had forgotten the rules… One must be without error out here. Walk in single file. Work quietly. Pack an extra No. 2 pencil. Make no mistakes.” The powerful words drawn from the Atlantic article “Letter To My Son” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This one passage well summarizes a part of the issue of race and discrimination in the US today. Even though African Americans have been “freed” by the Civil War, they have never been treated equal to whites. While the activists of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s aimed to end racial segregation and discrimination, the Great African American authors of the same generation aimed to educate about the problems. Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin were certainly among the most influential ones. Their works did not just serve readers and Broadway plays (in the case of Hansberry) but have been the basis for movie adaptions as the means to communicate their messages thru another medium. The following paragraphs will introduce and summarize Hansberry’s and Baldwin’s acclaimed works as well as their movie adaptions.

    Lorraine Hansberry had a short life (1930-1965), but in that short period, she chose to step up and address the issues of racism through her literary expression. Her most acclaimed work “A Raisin in the Sun” was based on her own impressions growing up in Southside Chicago. Hansberry became the first African American female playwriter to be represented on Broadway. This meant the pathway to white audiences. Regardless of the success of her play, the powerful message of racism and segregation was often overlooked because the values of the fictional family Hansberry invented was found relatable to white families all around. However, we can observe that the play expresses many underlying and intersectional problems. This is portrayed through the relationships of the featured Younger family of five, where the reader/viewer gains and insight into Mother-daughter, Mother-Son, Brother-Sister, and Wife-Husband interactions. Besides the constant drama of the play, the characters maintain the values and pride of black people, even as they face discrimination from whites after buying a house in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, the 2008 movie adaption of “A Raisin in the Sun” by Kenny Leon only picked up on the main message of racism, brushing aside the concept of intersectionality that burdens the African American female population.

    James Baldwin was writer and activist. (1924-1987) He is the author of several novels, but one of his most important pieces may have been “A Letter to My Nephew” featuring in ‘The Progressive’ magazine in 1962. The significance of this essay lies in its timelessness, as it is still relevant and educational today. In the essay, Baldwin addresses his nephew as an adult in a serious conversation, even though he was little at that time. It conveys his message that blacks in the US need to grow up fast to be able to cope with the discriminations and not to present themselves as a threat to white people. The piece is an eye opener that is rather addresses inner feelings and treatments with only a minimal context on current socio-political events. That context is the one that we still see today; in the form of police brutality for instance; offers the reading a sense of timelessness and modern relevance.
    Throughout his life, he had interactions with Hansberry, as well as Civil Rights leaders, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. After the assassination of the latter three leaders, Baldwin decided that he wanted to capture the views and legacies that they left behind. This proved to be the hardest task he ever committed himself to and were only able to produce 30 pages of the book called ‘Remember This House’ before passing away in 1987. Even though, the book was not finished, its limited content was picked up by filmmaker Raoul Peck. Peck adopted the content and intertwined it with historical videos and images, as well as current events as the bricolage expression of racism seen today in a documentary called “I Am Not Your Negro”. The documentary portrays the relationship and evolution of black people in films with the clips and quotes of Baldwin to give the movie its main spinal structure.

    Hansberry’s and Baldwin’s works are interconnected to describe the struggles of African Americans in the United States. At the same time, their message will only make a real change if it can be successfully communicated to the white populations. As Ta-Nehisi Coates describes the same thing in his essay “Letter To My Son” published in the Atlantic in 2015. His piece was inspired by Baldwin’s “Letter To My Nephew” and he can be seen as the next generation of literary activists. He criticizes the systematic setup of education of policing for the ongoing problems while emphasizing that the outcome of those systems need to be understood and changed by whites.

    There is a learning curve to these acclaimed works. And as we have been transforming into the digital age, it is vital that films and bricolages nourish and portray the achievements of Civil Rights activist, but also convey remaining issues to a wide range of the population. Films have the power to influence culture and society, at the same time however, culture and society also influences films. This complicated relationship helps us to understand the progression of culture from the early twentieth century till today, and show that while there has been change, that change coming slowly and is still facing many obstacles. Works of Hansberry, Baldwin, and Coates is more important than ever in today’s socio-political environment. Arguably in my opinion, if there was only one good thing Donald Trump contributed to this country was that he unintendedly exposed all the racists and white supremacists that still live in the United States today. It helps us to see that the issue of racism never really disappeared, it was just brushed under the stones.

    Reflection:
    I truly appreciated the integration of black history into the course curriculum. I’m and immigrant and even though I always recognized racism as an existing issue, I was never really aware how deep rooted and influential it was to shape the society we live in today. Certainly, the readings and the films, as well as the filming techniques helped me to develop a critical mind to movies I’ll watch in the future.
    Since switching to online learning, this has been the 4th asynchronous class I’ve taken. I recognize some of its advantages such as time flexibility but I’m not a fan and rather prefer to meet in a synchronous environment. Fortunately, in my major (architecture) all classes offered are synchronous, so I got to meet professors and fellow students on Zoom regularly. There is certainly an energy exchange in the conventional physical classroom setup, that helps to motivate and encourages interaction with both the professors and fellow students. Zoom meetings are obviously not the same and act as a temporary solution, it can allow for a similar energy flow that helps to feed interaction, BUT only if everyone’s cameras are on. This has been an issue I experienced in many of my synchronous classes. Most student choose not to turn their cameras on and expect the professors to give a lecture to a blank screen. I gave enough presentations through zoom to know that it is very challenging and unpleasant. On the other hand, since we all moved to an online learning environment, we can observe a change in quality of classes influenced just by how tech-savvy professors are. Not exclusively, but older professors tend to make communications more difficult simply due to the lack of digital practice. I was glad to see the way Professor Hellman organized the tasks and information on Openlab, it was very easy to follow and understand what needed to be done week by week.

  15. Daniel King

    I’d like to compare and contrast the differences of a story when it’s on paper and when it’s produced into a film. The two text-film pairings I’ll be referencing and comparing are Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1958), and it’s on-screen reenactment directed by Kenny Leon (2008), as well as the short story by John Cheever “The Swimmer” (1964), and the film of the same name directed by Eleanor and Frank Perry (1868). I think it’s interesting to note the differences in the gaps in time between when the texts were first written and when the films were created. A large gap may imply that some social cues or norms, or interactions may have different implications or feelings tied to them with the people watching. In my opinion only one of these stories may be considered timeless, but there’s still something to learn from both of them.
    I was impressed with the intense similarity of Kenny Leon’s film rendition of Raisin in the Sun with the original screenplay. I was even more impressed with the actors, especially Sean Combs’ performance and the other cast and camera crews’ ability to command the small apartment that the original play presented to them. Only a few scenes were removed entirely from the script and the overall setting was enlarged because I suppose the budget was bigger and in my opinion it doesn’t change the direction of the story at all.
    I found it incredibly interesting that the original story The Swimmer by John Cheever was originally 150+ pages. I can’t imagine what Cheever had to cut out to be left with the supposed best 10% of his story. If a copy of the full story exists I think I would read it. The film was good, I watched it about two and a half times. I really enjoyed Janice Rule’s performance of Shirley Abbott in the film. Eleanor and Frank Perry added so much more to her character and in turn revealed more about Ned in this version of the story. It really sealed in the PTSD element that was being hinted at as well as how manipulative Ned was. The short story had a more mysterious or surreal start to finish as Ned starts at the first pool with his wife, and there’s almost a blurring of time and space and it’s much later when he gets to his house whereas the movie could have possibly been over the course of one day except for the last fact that his home had looked to have been abandoned, unkempt, and rusted over for some time.
    I guess the one thing that I can tie together between both stories and my own life is that of the many different ways to act given the role of a husband. I just got married on June 12th, and both Raisin in the Sun and The Swimmer have lead characters that play husbands on two pretty far ends of the spectrum. I feel Walter lee Younger is a dreamer whereas Ned Merrill is living a daydream. I think it’s interesting how Walter almost calls out Ned early on in Raisin when he tells his wife how he doesn’t want his son to grow up only hearing stories about how rich white people live.
    REFLECTION
    I’ve learned from this class to think more about how film adaptations from literature differ from one another. I feel more curious now about why directors choose to leave certain scenes out and I wonder where they draw inspiration behind things they may add to the film that wasn’t in the original script. I wish there was more time to be spent on this topic, it’s truly interesting to me but the Summer semester came and went so quickly. Also, I think it would’ve been more interesting to have discourse and discussion in the classroom with each other. When we first left the school for distance learning and online classes I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, I suppose I was a little nervous. I enjoy having short one on one moments with both the professor and other students. Those small interactions proved to not be as accessible over Zoom. However, for the first (and second) time I earned straight A’s in all my classes while attending classes at home. I suppose it helps that I’m studying Communication Design + Advertising and a lot of my work is done on a computer. Either way, I’m excited to be that much closer to graduating and proud of my accomplishments despite sitting in the same spot for a year.

  16. Daniel King

    I’d like to compare and contrast the differences of a story when it’s on paper and when it’s produced into a film. The two text-film pairings I’ll be referencing and comparing are Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1958), and it’s on-screen reenactment directed by Kenny Leon (2008), as well as the short story by John Cheever “The Swimmer” (1964), and the film of the same name directed by Eleanor and Frank Perry (1868). I think it’s interesting to note the differences in the gaps in time between when the texts were first written and when the films were created. A large gap may imply that some social cues or norms, or interactions may have different implications or feelings tied to them with the people watching. In my opinion only one of these stories may be considered timeless, but there’s still something to learn from both of them.
    I was impressed with the intense similarity of Kenny Leon’s film rendition of Raisin in the Sun with the original screenplay. I was even more impressed with the actors, especially Sean Combs’ performance and the other cast and camera crews’ ability to command the small apartment that the original play presented to them. Only a few scenes were removed entirely from the script and the overall setting was enlarged because I suppose the budget was bigger and in my opinion it doesn’t change the direction of the story at all.
    I found it incredibly interesting that the original story The Swimmer by John Cheever was originally 150+ pages. I can’t imagine what Cheever had to cut out to be left with the supposed best 10% of his story. If a copy of the full story exists I think I would read it. The film was good, I watched it about two and a half times. I really enjoyed Janice Rule’s performance of Shirley Abbott in the film. Eleanor and Frank Perry added so much more to her character and in turn revealed more about Ned in this version of the story. It really sealed in the PTSD element that was being hinted at as well as how manipulative Ned was. The short story had a more mysterious or surreal start to finish as Ned starts at the first pool with his wife, and there’s almost a blurring of time and space and it’s much later when he gets to his house whereas the movie could have possibly been over the course of one day except for the last fact that his home had looked to have been abandoned, unkempt, and rusted over for some time.
    I guess the one thing that I can tie together between both stories and my own life is that of the many different ways to act given the role of a husband. I just got married on June 12th, and both Raisin in the Sun and The Swimmer have lead characters that play husbands on two pretty far ends of the spectrum. I feel Walter lee Younger is a dreamer whereas Ned Merrill is living a daydream. I think it’s interesting how Walter almost calls out Ned early on in Raisin when he tells his wife how he doesn’t want his son to grow up only hearing stories about how rich white people live.
    REFLECTION
    I’ve learned from this class to think more about how film adaptations from literature differ from one another. I feel more curious now about why directors choose to leave certain scenes out and I wonder where they draw inspiration behind things they may add to the film that wasn’t in the original script. I wish there was more time to be spent on this topic, it’s truly interesting to me but the Summer semester came and went so quickly. Also, I think it would’ve been more interesting to have discourse and discussion in the classroom with each other. When we first left the school for distance learning and online classes I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, I suppose I was a little nervous. I enjoy having short one on one moments with both the professor and other students. Those small interactions proved to not be as accessible over Zoom. However, for the first (and second) time I earned straight A’s in all my classes while attending classes at home. I suppose it helps that I’m studying Communication Design + Advertising and a lot of my work is done on a computer. Either way, I’m excited to be that much closer to graduating and proud of my accomplishments despite sitting in the same spot for a year.

  17. Jeffrey Shor

    Throughout the course this summer, a selection of texts and their accompanying films were reviewed and discussed. The two pairs of texts and films that I was able to connect were “The Swimmer”, a short story written by John Cheever and film based on the story directed by Eleanor and Frank Perry, and, “A Raisin In The Sun”, a play written by Lorraine Hansberry and film directed by Kenny Leon. While both of these texts and films were about different topics and stories, they did have some similarities as well. Both pairs shared certain themes and ideas.
    “The Swimmer,” told the story of Ned or Neddy Merrill, who took himself upon an ambitious project of swimming all the way home through the pools of his neighbors spread out all over the county. Along his journey, Ned experiences very different interactions with each of his friends and neighbors. Through each of his encounters, the concept of alcoholism is touched upon with the constant statement of “having too much to drink last night.” There were a few encounters where Ned was presented with a situation that had occurred in the past, or actions that he had taken in the past, where he simply did not remember them. Ned went around with his beliefs of strong family values as he named the connection of pools after his wife, Lucinda, and kept his daughters on his mind the whole time. The effects can be seen at the end of the film, as well as the end of the short story, where Ned finally arrives at his house to find it empty and abandoned looking. Ned was essentially living the life of a daydream that everything is normal and perfect. However, that turned out not to be the case.

    The alcoholism can be seen in “A Raisin In The Sun” as well, in the case of Walter Younger. When Walter does not get his way with the insurance check money originally, he ends up going on a drinking binge and skipping out on work. Walter is also not necessarily happy with his life and looks for ways and opportunities to change and turn that around. He was planning on using the money to invest in a liquor store, which many of his family members around him advised was not a good idea. The liquor store probably would have fed further into the theme of alcoholism. The play “A Raisin In The Sun” also is big on family values as well. Lena and Ruth are constantly trying to protect and take care of the family as their priority. The biggest priority was to get the family into a bigger space, not invest in a poor business idea.

    Both of these works of writing have been written around a similar time period, with just a few years between the two, however, both stories are totally different. “A Raisin In The Sun” is written about a black family who are working class and lower income. “The Swimmer” showcases white suburban families who have much higher incomes and live lavish lifestyles. There is a lot to learn from both of these works of writing as well as the film adaptations.

    Reflection
    There are a few things that I have learned from this course. One of those things is the importance of film angles. Depending on the type of film angle, the story or situation can be interpreted in different ways and forms. This is something that I will be paying attention to when watching future films. I would have never come across some of the works of literature and films on my own if it wasn’t for this course. Overall, I enjoyed the course and the fact that it was done asynchronously. Since my return to college in Fall 2020 after a break, I have gone through an entire remote academic year. With never having the chance to even step foot on campus, I actually enjoyed taking all of my classes online from my home. The amount of time that I saved on not having to commute and all of the expenses that I have avoided such as travel and food is probably significantly large. With this course being done in an asynchronous model, it was a nice change to not have to wake up at a specific time to attend a lecture as well as being called out if you are not responding. It worked out even better for me towards the end of this course due to starting a new job after being unemployed for so what feels like forever during this pandemic.

  18. Alondra Vences

    The development of films has expanded tremendously throughout the years. The input directors put into the films after a story was created has many levels of creativity. There can be plenty of similarities but there also can be plenty of differences between a film and a story. One text film pairing I’ll be comparing is a short story “The Swimmer”(1964), by John Cheever and the film directed by Eleanor and Frank Perry (1868). Including a second text film pairing which is, “A Raisin in the Sun” written by Lorraine Hansberry (1958) and the film directed by Kenny Leon (2008). Both filmmakers adjust the story and bring the story to life in very unique ways. You can tell how both stories have goals but along the way they face a few struggles. In the film, A Raisin in the Sun, there are cinematic techniques used to develop and emphasize the families struggles. As well as in, The Swimmer, cinematic techniques are used to emphasize the main character Ned’s struggles and emotions. Cinematic techniques play a big role in bringing these stories to life and helping us understand the characters.
    In the film, The Swimmer, the director Eleanor and Frank Perry use cinematic techniques to emphasize Ned’s situations and emotions. They use close-ups, extreme close-ups, and lighting to develop the dramatic scenes. We can see Ned having a very splendid time when he’s achieving his goal to swim across the county. The sun shines on his face and body, the amount of lighting the directors used helped show happiness. There were many extreme close-ups showing Ned remembering his daughters, this helped show his love for them. The most important scene in my opinion was when Ned was running in the rain feeling sad. This was when he realized everything had fallen apart. The lighting gets very gloomy and the directors used a long shot to emphasize the dramatic scene. The entire movie was basically very sunny and joyful, but at the very end when everything started to make sense and fall apart, the scene got extremely grey and gloomy. These cinematic techniques helped reveal Ned’s thoughts and emotions, which also emphasize the main idea of Ned’s story.
    On the other hand, A Raisin in the Sun shows several cinematic scenes. There are plenty of characters with different personalities. This story is very emotional and conveys several struggles that all characters go through. In this film, the director Kenny Leon uses low angle shots, extreme close- ups, and lighting to develop the film in a better way. There are many scenes where extreme close-ups are used to help reveal Mama’s, Ruth’s, and Walter’s emotions. These extreme close-ups helped show the struggle and depression these characters were going through. Lighting also played a huge role in these scenes. Their apartment for example was always very gloomy and dark. But when they went to their new house, there was so much sun and everything seemed to pop out more. This helped develop the theme of the story, since they were living in such a struggle they finally had something they deserved after so much struggle.
    Overall, cinematic techniques have developed so much throughout these years. I can’t imagine having to convert a written story into a real life film. The amount of techniques that have to be thought of in order to help develop the story. These cinematic techniques have to be applied very uniquely in order to be able to tell the story in the best way possible. With both these text film pairings, I was able to point these techniques out and it helped me view filmmaking in a different way. These text film pairings showed such emotion, struggle, and compassion. There’s a sense of inspiration that we get with these films. We can establish that struggle can be demonstrated in many ways in films.
    REFLECTION:
    This class has been great! I’ve learned so much from it, anytime I watch a movie I’m always thinking about cinematic techniques. It makes complete sense to me now that I’ve learned these techniques. I’ve also really enjoyed reading a story and then comparing it to the film. There’s so much more to it when you watch the movie after reading the story on it. This was my first time taking summer classes online and I was definitely nervous. However, this class changed my mind completely. I felt very confident throughout this course. This class really motivated me and actually made me look forward to doing the work. I’ve never taken a class like this before. It was honestly such a great experience!

  19. Justin Pope

    During this class, I have learned how to improve my analysis and understanding of films and literature and learned how to compare them. A pair of text and film that stood out to me that I would like to compare are “Home” by Warsan Shire and “The Immigrant” (1917) by Charlie Chaplin. I want to compare them because they both have an immigration theme in common. Another pair that I am comparing are “The Swimmer” (1964) by John Cheever and “The Swimmer” (1968) by Eleanor and Frank Perry. This is because I believe they both share a common theme of escapism.

    The first pair of text and film that I want to compare are “Home” and “The Immigrant”. “Home” is a poem about why immigrants want to leave home. In the poem, the immigrants want to leave because their home has become dangerous, and they do not feel safe anymore. “The Immigrant” is a short, silent film about how immigrants have to endure the uncomfortable journey to New York and the challenges that they face when they arrive. The pair are similar because both show that the immigrants were struggling in their native country. In “Home”, people are fleeing from danger, and in “The Immigrant”, people seem to be fleeing from poverty. In both cases, the immigrants want a chance at a better life. The pair differ in the way they want to convey their message to the audience. “Home” is in a more serious and depressing tone, while “The Immigrant” is a light-hearted comedy film. This difference allows them to impact the audience in a drastically different way despite refencing a similar issue. The connections we can establish between these works and our own experience is that many people escape their country to improve their life situation and when they arrive, they can be poor, and treated poorly because they are immigrants.

    The second pair of text and film that I want to compare is “The Swimmer” 1964 and 1968. “The Swimmer” is about a man that sees himself as an explorer and he wants to swim home through a series of his neighbors’ pools. The movie is of course an adaptation of the story, so they have roughly the same story and they have most things in common. They both deal with the main character, Ned Merrill, swimming the pools, drinking a lot, and finding out that his home is empty at the end. A common theme of the story is escapism where Ned pretends he is an explorer and seems to have forgotten years of his memories. Another theme is alcoholism, where Ned drinks because he might not want to think about reality. Where the pair differ is that the film illustrates the loneliness that Ned is facing. In the film, Ned makes intimate advances on two of the female characters, Julie Ann Hooper, and Shirley Abbott. I think this was added to the film to further show the point that Ned is no longer with his wife and wants to experience female companionship again. This theme is not explored in the text. We can connect these works to our own experience because some people turn to alcohol as a means of escaping reality if it is too painful for them to handle.

    In conclusion, “Home” and “The Immigrant” both have the theme of immigration in common and both explore why immigrants are leaving their country. They differ in terms of the tone and how the audience is supposed to react to the story while reading or watching it. “The Swimmer” 1964 and 1968 both have themes of alcoholism and escapism, where Ned forgets painful memories and drinks alcohol to cope with his unfortunate events. They differ because the film also touches on the loneliness that Ned feels without his wife, by having him make intimate advances on two of the female characters. These works can connect to our own life because of how immigrants are treated and also because some people experience unfortunate events and may want to escape reality because the truth is too painful.

    REFLECTION
    In this class, I have learned new things about film. I have learned about the different methods a director can use to film as well as the types of camera shots they use. One of the things I have learned about film is the importance of cinematography. The shots that they choose and the camera lens that they use has a lot of impact. Something as simple as zooming in for an extreme close up can build tension in a scene. I have also learned about how directors can stage scenes. An example is that there is a 180° rule that is used which create an imaginary space between the actors speaking and keeps all their camera angles to one side of that line. This line is done so that the audience does not become confused about where things are. Directors can also use props to keep actors busy when they are not talking. Additionally, subjects should always be placed in a center of the frame to draw attention to it. As far as the asynchronous delivery and class modality, I thought it was sufficient for the material. I understood everything, knew what I was supposed to do, and did not have any confusion.

  20. Nathiw Sanchez

    Throughout times many authors and movies creators have used text and dialogues created by stories made in books. Movie directors and creators have been using different books as the inspiration for their creations to make movies. Many of them have asked the authors of stories creators to create a real image of the story of the book. These strategies have been in use for many years by different movie creators to seek the audience’s attention. The movie director Frank Perry creator of the movie “The Swimmer” made in 1968 is one of the real-life proof of how movies creators have used stories from other authors to create their movies based on the details, dialogue, and narrative created by other authors. In the same manner, the Movie director Daniel Petrie creator of the movie “A Raisin in the Sun” made in 1961 is another real-life proof of how movie creators use the play and story of other authors to their creation of an image based on books and stories that already have been written by other authors. Under these consequences, it is clear and notable how movies creators have used readings, real-life experiences, and plays from other authors to create their movies scenes.
    The movie “The swimmer” created by the movie director Frank Perry is evident proof as to how movies creators have been inspired to create movies of stories of other authors. The movie “The swimmer” created based on the play “The swimmer” wrote and created by the American writer John Cheever in 1964 is a clear image of how both plays are connected with the similitudes and details produced in the movie but as well in the story. For instance, the finals of “the swimmer” are very notable the difference is due to the reason that both plays have created their own final. In the reading the author states “he shouted, pounded on the door, tried to force it with his shoulder, and then, looking in at the windows, saw that the place was empty.” However, on the other hand, the film has provided to the audience a different reaction of Neddy which makes clear the difference between the little details between the film and the story. In the same manner, one of the similitudes that the movie and the play have I between the explanation of Neddy’s journey. In both plays, both creators have explained the road of Neddy, and how in each pool Neddy was related to his past, both authors have used their creativity to describe Neddy’s past and his life. The story and the film used as symbols for each pool due to the reason that each experience in each pool was different some of them were talking about his love’s experiences, friendships, and items attached to him. The notable difference between the storytelling and movie scenes is significant due to the reason that both creators have used their own techniques to tell the story and create their own climax of the story. As a result, the movie “The Swimmer” created a film based on the play “The Swimmer” by John Cheever with similitudes and differences of environments and climax to give tense to the scenes of the movie.
    Similarly, the film “A Raisin in the Sun” created by Daniel Petrie has been related to the story “A Raisin in the Sun” created by the Afro-American writer Lorraine Hansberry. Both plays have developed their own sense of drama and develop of the climax. In the same manner, the film “A Raisin in the Sun” has used the story made by the Afro-American writer Lorraine Hansberry to develop and create attention to his audience based on the details, environments, and development of the climax. On the same hand, Daniel Petrie has used his own sense of creation and creativity to create different scenes of the story with different effects and environments that the story has created at first. For instance, one difference between the story and the film is that the story has expressed more the gender roles issues and the manliness that existed during those years. However, on the other hand, the film has expressed and portrayed the feelings of each character and their thoughts about the situation that they were living during those years. The details and the conversations created by the Afro-American writer Lorraine Hansberry on the story “A Raisin in the Sun” have been notably different due to the reason that the director of the film has used their own techniques to develop the scenes and details of the playmaking clear and significant the details of both. In addition, the film as well as used and emphasized some issues and ideas that have been in use and portrayed in the reading such as division of class based on their race and economic status, masculinity issues, and the American dream of each one. Therefore, the film “A Raisin in the Sun” created by Daniel Petrie and the story “A Raisin in the Sun” created by the Afro-American writer Lorraine Hansberry can seem similar due to the reason that Daniel Petrie have used the details and conversation made on the story to create his own image of the movie with significant similitudes on the story.
    To conclude and finalize, different authors and creators of plays such as film, audiobooks, and stories have used as references to real-life experiences such as personal or international issues and topics to deliver a message to the audience. In the same manner, creators such as Daniel Petrie and Frank Perry are movies creators that have used stories created by other authors as references and inspiration to create their own image of the story. Therefore, it is clear and notable how movies creators have used readings, real-life experiences, and plays from other authors as motivation, and reference to create their movies scenes.
    Reflection
    From the first reading to this moment that we are, I have learned and developed my reading skills in different ways. This course has taught me differently the different points of view of each person, and how people can interpret the reading in many ways. In the same manner, this course has helped me to understand, and strategize my reading skills in different ways, as well the reading has taught me the different techniques that authors use to seek the attention of the reading. Therefore, this class has shown me in different ways how creators of the film have used the reading of other authors as references and inspiration for their creation.

  21. Wilmer U. Chavez

    Comparison/ Contrast Essay
    What would you prefer if you must choose between read a novel or watch a movie? I have notice that in our class “Films from Literature,” there are similar works that in certain topics in which we can make comparison and contrast. Consequently, In the film and play “ A Raisin in the Sun,” by Larraine Hansberry there are many differences and similarities that it is valuable to approach as well as “ The Immigrant” by Charles Chaplin (1917) and “Home” By Warsan.
    Similitudes and differences between the play and movie “A Raisin in a Sun,” written in 1958 and filmed in 2008. This movie is about a black family that is about to receive a $10,000 and one of their main characters (Walter) did not want to continue leaving in poverty and wanted to invest that money and Mama when received that money paid $3,500 dollars for a house that was in a white community that did not want them to leave there. Continuously Mama gave the rest of the money to Walter, who invested it and lost all the money and at the end of the movie and play they did not want to move to another place, and they decided continuing leaving the white community because they felt that they deserve it.
    Continuously, the similitudes of the play and the movie is that both approach the same topics and they both have the written part as the A Raising in the Sun play as well as the libretto and of each scene that all the actors must perform. By Contrast, the written form helps to stimulate the imagination of the reader and the visual form the viewer can admire all what is happening through the actions that are performing all actors and actresses. One of the scenes the topics that touched my heart was when the child was asking for money to his mother, and she said that they do not have and for this reason he was not able to go to the school trip and when father knew that he was asking for that money he gave him and even 50 cents more that the child could spend even when Walter did not had money. This scene was heart breaking to me because reminds me all families that could be having financial problems and even when can be painful to them, they cannot give the money to the child for something that it is asking them. Furthermore, this scene touched me while I was watching the movie and because I was able to see the emotions that they were conveying through their non-verbal language, and it was not the same for me when I read it through the play.
    Continuously, there are similitudes and differences between “The Immigrant,” by Charles Chaplin (1917) and “Home” by Warsan Shire. Even though both artworks are not like the movie and the play, I have notice that it is an interesting pair to write similitudes and contrast because they touch a similar main topic which is the immigration. The similitudes that they share is about people that are looking for a better life in which they do not care to jeopardize their life looking for a better life. By contrast the “ Immigrant,” is a short film and “ Home” is a poem. Honestly, I would like to say that comparing both of them touched me more the poem “Home,” than Chaplin’s short film because while I read “You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages…” specially this lines broke my heart because came to my mind all the news that I have seen in my life about people that has died while they were looking for the “American Dream” and how their dreams of overcoming were truncated.
    To Summarize, there are various similitudes and contrast between films and literature and the most significant is that in literature we use our imagination and, in the movies, we use some of our sense to contemplate what is happening in the screen. Consequently, there is not one better than the other, which one that you prefer to choose is your own option.

    Reflection: Films from Literature
    I have loved this class from the first day because of the communication that we build, and we share our favorite movie created from a book. It was awesome reading each movie that everybody likes and share mine too. Then, in the next class we learnt about the angles, and this reminds me when I took my photography class in my country El Salvador and that video that you share with us helped me a lot because I knew the name of the angles in Spanish but not in English and that help me a lot. Consequently, I have enjoyed every single reading and movie that we have tackled in this class. I would like to thank you for all the knowledge that you have conveyed us.
    At some point, I have enjoyed the online classes because I do not have to commute, and I do not have to pay the metro card just for going to class and can be more convenient for my work schedule. Furthermore, would be great if the future for the education in NY would be only for theoretical lectures and presential for practical classes. And would be better because could reduce significatively the tuition and become college more accessible for people and reduce the debt that some people get for study. However, as you wrote in your Daily News article that “in the traditional system there are more interaction between students and the professor and in between students and all these are valuable memories.” It is incredible to share moments and interact with classmates and professors making the class more interactive and heartwarming. Also, enjoying of the commuting listening to music, watching videos or even reading and in some cases watching every New York landscape while we are going to the college and going back home. I would like to thank you again because since the beginning you have made us feel comfortable being in your class.

  22. Yovanna

    Films and stories are so important nowadays, they are such a great way to entertain and educate an audience. Two stories that caught my attention were “A Raisin In The Sun” and “The Swimmer”. In “Raisin in the Sun”, the family appears to have a lot of conflicts, since everyone has their own opinion on how to spend the money. However at the end they all came together and bought a house so they could have a better life. Now when it comes to the “The Swimmer”, it’s about this guy name Ned, which swims among the pools of his neighbors, each pool represent a stage on his life and how he has a drinking problem, now this story didn’t have a happy ending comparing to the other one, well at the end we find out that Ned’s family had left him. These two stories are indeed great examples of how important storytelling devices are in order for the audience to understand the author’s perspectives. In The Raisin In The Sun, camera work help the audience understand what’s going on as well as to really feel what the characters are going through, for example in the last scene when the family finally moved in to their new house, the camera suddenly pans out to some white neighbors that were not please with the Younger’s family arrival. Symbolism was used to persuade the audience for instance, the pools, well each pool symbolizes different stages in Ned’s life which are important aspects for the audience. When comparing these two is important to point out how in both story family is very important and how every character had struggles of their own.

    In the swimmer we can tell that part of the fact that Ned’s family fell apart is his abuse of alcohol, well not only it destroyed his family; it destroyed how others portrayed him. The end is very sad, when finally arrives home the house is empty and almost destroyed. In my opinion, I believe the house symbolizes how his life really is empty and lonely. I feel like I was able to come to this conclusion also thanks to the soundtrack. At the end it was kinda melancholic the way the director used the music, it created some kind of pathos; also the pools turned out to be very important since they symbolize the stages of alcoholism he is at, as he kept on swimming, he kept on drinking. Now in The Raisin In the Sun, family is very important, family over money. In this story money was always an issue, and as soon as they get this huge amount of money well, everyone had their own opinion. At the last scene the camera work was well used, everyone was happy since they moved in to their new house but, the camera focus turns to the white neighbors (so we tell that the family will face racism in their new house) glaring at them disapprovingly through their windows as the family turn to leave their yard, and the family, fully knowing that they will be unwanted. I really found this story very Interesting, By I would’ve liked to know if Beneatt ever got to go to medical school. A raisin in the sun was my favorite out of the funk we watched this semester. Both stories have a lot in common yet they can be so different, The Raisin In The Sun and The Swimmer, we are able to see how the director in the Swimmers used symbolism to persuade, tell a story. as a way to also tell the story. Like when Ned goes from pool to pool, meeting up with his neighbors. In A Raisin In The Sun the camera work is what really helps the audience understand the story, to u fest and what the characters are feeling. It’s incredible how these films were first plays and basically they got made into more realistic versions.

    Refection:
    Thanks to this class, I understand how important stories telling devices are. I really had fun reading and then watching the stories. I’ve discovered that, despite their differences, films and plays are pretty much alike. Reading is this best way to keep us entertained, it’s something that I really enjoy and I glad I took this course, I didn’t know what to expect yet I’ll recommend this class to any of my classmates. I believe this class uses film to intensify the teaching of literature. I think films can really make you feel the story however the play makes you use your imagination to the point that you feel you are part of the play. I will take a play over a film, but I got to admit I do get excited when I get to see a movie about a book I read.

  23. Tamara Ivana

    “The book is better than the movie” everyone would say as I was growing up. I remember ignoring such remarks but also kind of envying that someone actually knew that. That somebody actually took the time to experience a story twice, in two different forms. That’s why I took up this course. I know there’s beauty there, a lot of beauty as there are details that are missed when you just watch the film or just watch the book. I think it works like a puzzle, you get a better picture when you do both. The two comparison pieces that gave me that during this course were Shire’s “Home” and Chaplin’s “The Immigrant” as well as “The Swimmer”, both text and film.
    In the Shire and Chaplin comparison, the common theme and tone was immigration. I found that the way Shire used repetition on “nobody leaves home unless” throughout her poem to paint a feeling of hopelessness in your own home was an incredible way to explain and paint a picture on why someone would choose to leave. She continuously threaded different reasons and painted vivid visuals of assault, abuse and violence. Watching Chaplin’s use of charisma and comedy initially made the situation feel lighter in tone and experience. However, the more you watched the more you realized that he was the only thing light and charming about the entire film. From a visual perspective, I loved the way they used the movement of the camera to highlight a particular movement, like on the boat, and the use of zoom in and out to focus on his reaction to his surroundings and situations. Though both pieces were presented differently, one through text one through film. One lighter in tone visually than the other in text; they both conveyed the struggles, pain and humiliation that comes with such a drastic but often dire decision. It really hit home and I think in a way they complimented each other.
    Secondly, The Swimmer. What I thoroughly enjoyed about these two comparisons was that it turned into almost a game to seek out more information about the character. I went the movie then text route so I was left with so many uneasy feelings and unanswered questions about Ned. I think for once I understood the need to seek out and say “the movie was better than the text” or, the other way around. In terms of similarities, I found the way the character was described to think about himself and his life accomplishments was painted greatly in the beginning of the film. I loved the use of dramatic music and often “electric” like transitions used to show a moment of excitement. Like when he was jumping around with his babysitter, it was eerie but it gave you a slight feeling of joy and it showed in the use of slow-motion and big smiles on both characters. However, to contrast, I felt more disconnected in the text version of Ned than I did in the film. I think they differ in that, in the text it gives you more of a narrative of who Ned was in the past. It teetered between him being humble, to him thinking obviously lower of one of his “friends” who he almost bragged about continuously turning down invitations. In the film, I think it highlighted more of his confusion on everyone’s worry and hostility towards him. Admittedly, Ned wasn’t the most likeable let alone perfect character in either work, but I think the visual of a grown and outdated confident american man definitely made me pity him.
    When I think of the first two comparisons, I understand and appreciate the different ways in which a topic, argument or experience can be contextualized. Like a genre of a film, book or song. They have the checkboxes of what it makes it in that genre, what was or wasn’t spoken about that qualifies as such if you will. Lastly, The Swimmer taught me and made me appreciate the “movie was better than the book” or “book was better than the movie” people. I understand that there’s always more than meets your characters eye in a film and you can only develop a character so much in such limited time, but your perception of someone can change if you dig a little deeper in where the character or storyline was even born.

    Reflection –

    If I’m being honest, I’m disappointed with the way I performed in this course. I took it up because I love films and am still practicing my love for reading. The experience, work and bios I got to read were amazing but there is currently so many outside stressors in the world that it’s the first time in a year that I thought “this discussion would be so much better in class and in person” I’m incredibly grateful for the text and films I was exposed to during the course, but equally saddened that some of the issues that we read and discussed are still ruling the world today. Whether it be racism, alcoholism or sexual assault and abuse. There are too many outside stressors and with this new strain of Covid-19 and mask mandates being off, I can’t even confidently say whether being confined in a room with a group of strangers would make me feel any more confident or comfortable in my work. Thank you for your time and effort in this summer class professor, I liked your writing and I too find myself looking at “throwback” photos of the world that once was. Stay Safe.

  24. CindyNicole

    We have watched many films and read multiple works of literature to help our understanding of different techniques and perspectives that directors and authors use to create memorable characters. Throughout the course, we saw the film and it’s literature pairing in order to analyze the director’s visualization of the characters and attention to detail. In order to best speak on some of the work we have covered and analyzed as a pair, I have chosen The Swimmer by John Cheever and the film by Eleanor and Frank Perry. I have also chosen the poem Home by Warsan Shire and the Film The Immigrant by Charlie Chaplin.

    The Swimmer by John Cheever and the adaptation film by Eleanor and Frank Perry were one of my favorite assignments. The short story is about a man who is suffering from alcoholism and has lost touch with reality; he embarks on a journey to swim across the county all the way home. John Cheever invoked realism, symbolism to showcase a man’s failed attempt at achieving the American dream. The film was slightly different from the short story and took creative liberties to really embellish Neddy Merrill’s experiences. They did an excellent job at delving deeper into Neddy Merrill’s past friendships and relationships. The film like the short story show subtle hints of his alcoholic tendencies by Neddy seemingly looking for a drink at every stop he makes. Eleanor and Frank Perry also used symbolism and realism along with using cinematic storytelling devices to really bring the characters to life. They used a character’s point of view to show us how Neddy Merrill’s life came to be and the events that led to his spiraling. There are multiple similarities between the film and the story; they both show the complexities and vulnerability of the characters. How they intertwine with each other and all of them seem grow and move on with life unlike Ned Merrill whose life is stuck at a standstill. The differences between both is that John Cheever’ story focused more on the alcoholism aspect and Ned’s sole focus on his journey to swim across the county and find home. Another difference is that the movie version made Ned’s character seem more out of touch with reality, arrogant and obsessed with keeping up appearances in order to not tarnish his social status.

    The Immigrant by Charlie Chaplin and Home by Warsan Shire are also another pair that really stuck out to me during this semester because the common themes of becoming acclimated to new living conditions, trying to find home and really soul searching to what you want out of life are very similar to my mother’s and grandmother’s journey to the United States from Ecuador. They arrived in the United States with just the clothes on their back, no money, no family and nowhere to live in a brand-new country. The Immigrant which is the silent film by pioneer Charlie Chaplin is about his own experiences migrating to the United States. He uses sarcasm, dry humor and quirkiness to show a different light of an otherwise traumatic journey. The poem by Warsan Shire is about a woman’s journey as a refugee fleeing everything she knew and loved behind to escape and find safety. Both Charlie Chaplin’s and Warsan Shire’s work are similar in the way they depict their character’s experience with migration, trauma, dealing with loss and finding their own way. The differences between both of them is that The Immigrant is a love story and handles the topic of migrating to a new country with lightheartedness and satire while Home depicts the hardships and devastation that a refugee must endure.

    REFLECTION
    I want to start by saying thank you for opening my eyes to new film genre’s. You taught me about cinematic devices, storytelling and the usage of camara angles that work cohesively to make great cinema. The work was thought provoking and the film’s were enjoyable to watch. It’s been a love and hate relationship with virtual learning since the pandemic started. I have a rowdy household with young nieces and a 3-year-old daughter so it’s tough to really separate my life as Cindy the mother with Cindy the college student. I am a single mother and taking on a full school load has proved be very challenging but not impossible, sometimes there’s no time to study or complete assignments by it’s deadline. I can appreciate the time I have spent home and not having to do the long 2-hour commute from Glendale, Queens to Citytech. I also have a new sense of appreciation for all of the teachers who worked non-stop through a pandemic and never faltered at making sure we all succeeded to the best of our abilities.

    Extra Credit:

    James Baldwin Letter To My Nephew, Ta-Nehisi Coates between the world and me and Remember this house all touch on important and heavy topics such as racism, classism and violence. These works of literature dig a little deeper into the backstory of systemic racism and how black families had to trek to different parts of the country to try to escape it. James Baldwin’s letter to my nephew is a real-life cautionary tale of what it means to be black in a white washed country. He speaks on longing for a better future and being able to live in harmony and not having to defined by color but only by the kind of man you are. Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a letter he pens to his son Samori; he explains the complexities of being a black man in today’s society and the responsibilities that comes with it. He says for his son to not it or try to understand it but accept it and learn to live with it. “How do I live freely within this black body?” is one of the quotes that stuck out to me because he almost feels like it’s a burden. He struggles internally about the sense of ownership he feels white people have over blacks, having no autonomy and the brutal violence against his people going unpunished. Remember this house is the unfinished manuscript of James Baldwin who passed away of liver cancer and could not it. He started it with the vision of writing about the experiences of Black man trying to stay alive in America through the eyes of three civil rights heroes Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. The film I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House which touches on America’s devasting history with racism and the real impact it has done to generations of people. It highlights our awful practices and attitudes toward colored people and even though we’ve seen one tragic story after another, there never seems to be any consequences. The similarities of these pieces of work is that they speak of oppression, constantly having to fight the oppressors, advocacy and struggling to accept the skin you’re in. There’s also having feelings of anger, resentment and disappointment in our legal system, having to constantly watch your backs and not being to trust those whose sole job are to protect.

  25. Chris Del Castillo

    Chris Del Castillo
    ENG 2400
    Prof. Hellman
    Project 2
    The State of Reality
    “His life was not confining and the delight he took in this observation could not be explained by its suggestion of escape.” (The Swimmer pg1) One of the hardest things to accept when becoming an adult is reality. Up until high school most of us live with our parents and, even if we pitch in to help, do not really have to much responsibility. Then when H.S. ends we are suddenly thrown into a new world of learning how to keep your own head above water. The reality never changed; it just did not fall on our shoulders. I believe both Walter from A Raisin in the Sun and Neddy from The Swimmer have this desire to escape in common. While that is true, their reasons are very different.
    Walter’s reality is one in which people were being oppressed just because they were of a certain skin complexion. This drove him into a desperate state of mind. All he wanted was a better life for himself and his family. I do believe he viewed it in this order because he felt as the man of the house, he needs to be the provider. Meaning if he was doing amazing then those around him would also. He believed is “business” idea would be his escape, but it only ended up costing his fathers legacy. Neddy’s reality on the other hand was a solitary and sad one. While both the author and director of The Swimmer never state exactly what Neddy’s situation is, we can gather that he had a family and is now divorced, without his kids and impoverished. “Lake Lucinda” was his way of trying to get back to his old life literally and figuratively.
    While their reasons where different, they both had the right to want what they were chasing. Well one version of Neddy at least, I’ll explain. Walter was too impatient to see anything else other than that one idea as his escape. If he would have just sat down and spoken to his family about the right moves to make with the money, he could have spared both him and his family a lot of pain. Both the play and the movie do a good job of representing Walter’s frustration. Especially when Walter tells his mother:
    “Well, you tell that to my boy tonight when you put him to sleep on the
    living-room couch … (Turning to MAMA and speaking
    directly to her) Yeah—and tell it to my wife, Mama,
    tomorrow when she has to go out of here to look after
    somebody else’s kids. And tell it to me, Mama, every
    time we need a new pair of curtains and I have to watch
    you go out and work in somebody’s kitchen. Yeah, you
    tell me then!” (A Raisin in the Sun pg73)
    We clearly see that his intentions are good, but he was blinded by his desperate rage. Neddy wanted his old life back which seemed to have shattered into pieces. Instead of being in denial, he should have been working on how to be a better version of himself and give his kids the best life he can. One major difference between the book and the movie is that in the book Neddy’s past gets mentioned because he swims through his mistress’s pool, but he says a few words and keeps moving. This makes him seem like a man on a mission to get back what he has lost. In the film, the director makes him look like a playboy at any chance he can get. This version of him makes him look like a man with no remorse of his actions, just of getting caught and losing it all. The book is the original story so for this argument’s sake we are comparing Walter to the author’s (John Cheever) version of Neddy.
    Reality is adiaphorous. It is just the state of existence. What we make of it is what makes it either good or bad. All actions have reactions and sometimes the reaction is unknown. But for the most part, we know the consequence of having a mistress and of doing shady business. My quote for my graduation book was “Nothing worth having in life comes easy”. While Walter had a whole system built to oppress him, he forgot that he had a whole family to support and help each other. Neddy chose to not be home and spend time chasing what he was probably missing at home with another woman. Instead, he should have sat down with his wife and figured out what was missing. In both cases communication was the missing link. It is something we lack in our society today due to all this technology. The moral here is do not lose the communication with your loved ones before you lose both your legacy and them.

    REFLECTION
    This class has been the hardest thing I have had to do. I completely underestimated the amount of time I would have to complete the work. I do not believe the work was unreasonable just that my certain circumstance did not fit well with a class which is condensed in time. With all that being said, the actual work was very intriguing. I thought all the works of art that we read and watched were thought provoking and gave me a chance to try and view things from different perspectives. I think having the skill of being able to view one situation form multiple views is one that helps us all understand each other and life just a bit more. Also thank you for all the support. Without your understanding I would be very stressed and probably would have dropped the class. Thank you so much.

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