Films from Literature ENG 2400

English Department ENG 2400 Films from Literature
(3 hours, 3 credits)
Professor Masiello Office N529 (?) e-mail fmasiello@citytech.cuny.edu
Pre or Co-requisite: English Composition I (3 hours, 3 credits)
Course description: ENG 2400 is a course that allows students to examine the relationship
between films and their literary sources. Through classroom discussion and out-of-class assignments, students will analyze classic and contemporary literary texts and their cinematic versions. Students will examine the relationship between film and literature, with specific focus on the techniques used in fiction, drama, and film, and the influences of censorship and society. Students will focus on the similarities and differences of literary works adapted into films.
Course Objectives:
• Recognize literary devices.
• Understand forms and techniques of cinematic narratives.
• Investigate technical, cultural, political, historical, and economic contexts that shape the construction of films based on published works.
• Develop communication skills by discussing and writing about literature-based motion pictures employing analysis and comparison contrast.
• Improve reading/viewing skills that enhance appreciation of the relationship between literature and films.
• Enhance critical thinking skills.
Grading Assessments: Item Percentage
Essays/Readings/Quizzes 55%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final 10%
Attendance (unique course content and book purchase) 15%

Required text:
Masiello, Frank. Reading Movies. 2nd Ed. New York: Linus, 2015 NEW EDITION
Please note: The textbook is required, second edition.
No other purchases are necessary.

• Recommended (these are provided free but you may wish to buy an actual book)
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. Any edition that contains the “missing last chapter.”

• Recommended Lolita novel version: Nabokov, Vladimir. The Annotated Lolita. New York: Vintage, 1991.
(but any library edition will suffice)
Please note:
Of the required readings, all of the eight stories, including the novels named above, will be provided free. For the free stories,
you must either get them from me on a flashdrive (all eight stories are 2.1 MB grand
total) or, less efficiently, via e-mailing me: fmasiello@citytech.cuny.edu

Go to https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu for assignments. This requires a user ID and password.
Since you need to start reading Lolita immediately, you may get the pdf of the whole book by emailing me asap.

Course Calendar
• Week 1 Aug. 28 Introductory discussion and course plan.
• Introduction to class;
• Test: pre-test on literary and cinematic terminology
• Film clips on matters of movie controversy, language, cinematic terms, editing, and adaptation.
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• Week 2 Sept 4 • Read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, minimally chapters 1 through 10 to about the first half
(the entire novel must be completed by week 4).
Compare a modern novel to its films.
Discuss literary devices from novel: including first-person narration, alliteration,
parallelism, and metaphor.
View corresponding film clips from both film versions by Stanley Kubrick (1962)
and Adrian Lyne (1998).
Discuss film techniques: View compilation on Cinematic Techniques
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• Week 3 Sept. 11 Compare a modern novel to its films.
( no class Sept. 18)
You must have finished reading Lolita before our next class.
There will be a 2-page quiz due by Sept. 25

View compilation on Cinematic Techniques (see Dropbox) video is called Cin I or Cinema I
(not available anywhere else but in class today; cannot be made up if missed)

A 2-page quiz on the novel Lolita must be completed prior to watching the films. The whole point of the quiz is the films
are different and this is a literature class. You learn by reading.
You may complete the two-page quiz prior to class (see details from week 3).
• Week 4 Sept. 25 View Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita (1962)
Homework: start comparing the novel to this first film version…essay 1, due week 6 (weeks from now but start thinking and writing a rough draft since this is the longest essay of the course):
Essay 1 (minimum 750 words): Write comparison of Nabokov’s novel and the two films: what were the changes and why were they made?

Be specific, the more details from all three versions, the better.
This is your biggest essay for the entire course.

A separate detailed handout is available via https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu
called “essay 1.”
Do the films capture the intent of the book?
Also, before completing essay 1, read the following:
• Textbook: Read the chapter of Reading Movies called “The Novel” also
• Introduction pages ix-xi,
• Chapter 1 pages 2-16
• Chapter 2 pages 18-53
• Week 5 Oct. 2 View newer version of Lolita (1997) in class
Keep working on your essay.
Include details to compare from the second film version.
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• Week 6 Oct. 9 essay 1 is due
• View film compilations on Point of View, Cinematic Techniques,
and Alfred Hitchcock material (See Dropbox, and you will be notified which videos to watch)
Homework:
read Cornell Woodrich’s “Rear Window”
(copy provided to you via email)
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• Week 7 Oct. 16 Compare modern short story to its film.

• Quiz: “Rear Window”

• watch Rear Window in class
no homework

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• Week 8 Oct. 23 watch Psycho (1960)
Homework:
(A) Read short novel Psycho for next week’s quiz and towards essay 2
• (note: this is the ONLY time we will view a film BEFORE reading its source story…you will see why)

(B) Homework Essay 2 (minimum 750 words):
Write a comparison/contrast using Hitchcock’s two films and their source stories: note at
least three changes IN EACH STORY and defend why you think the changes were effective or ineffective. Detailed instructions are on OpenLab called in document “essay 2.”
__________________________________________________________________
• Week 9 Oct. 30 quiz on Robert Bloch’s short novel, Psycho
View comparative film clips of various Romeo and Juliet versions
View compilation of film techniques: symbolism
View film compilations on symbolism
(not available anywhere else but in class today; cannot be made up if missed)
Homework:
(A) Begin your take-home, two part, open-book midterm test on Chapters 2 and 6 of textbook. Both test parts are available on OpenLab.
(If you did not buy the textbook, you will still do the midterm using internet sources. Bonus points for those who buy the book and show proof of purchase.)

So far you have been assigned two essays and the midterm test has two parts. Altogether that is four documents
THREE of which are due next week. All four are required assignments!
(B) Homework for Nov. 1, read play: A Streetcar Named Desire
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• Week 10 Nov. 6 comparing a modern play to its film version

Quiz on A Streetcar Named Desire
Screening of film version of A Streetcar Named Desire
• Homework: Read Romeo and Juliet for week 11, next week.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________
• Week 11 Nov. 13 comparing a classic play to its film version
View 1969 version of Romeo and Juliet
Homework Essay:
Essay 3 (750 words): Write a comparison/contrast using Shakespeare’s play and
one of the film versions: note at least three changes and defend why you think the changes were effective or ineffective.
• Also, discuss the film version of Tennessee
Williams’ play concentrating on changes due to censorship considerations, the
Hollywood studio star system, and so forth. (See the separate OpenLab document
“essay three” Plays into Films.) Both play to film stories are included.

Homework: Read short story, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

• Week 12 Nov. 20
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Quiz on “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Screening of It’s a Wonderful Life

Homework:
Read short story: Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Sentinel.” It became the classic film,
2001: A Space Odyssey
(Please note: The novel version of 2001: A Space Odyssey was published after the screenplay.
Our literary readings are the versions that preceded the films, so we are reading only the short story from which the film was derived.)___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Week 13 Nov. 25 Wednesday follows a Friday schedule

NOV. 26 NO CLASSES Happy Thanksgiving!
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PLEASE START READING A CLOCKWORK ORANGE asap
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Week 14 Dec. 4 Screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (no quiz–film takes up 2.5 hours)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
• Dec. 18 View film compilations on Cinematic Techniques I11 and IV, including use of sound and music (not available anywhere else but in class today)
Homework: finish A Clockwork Orange by next and last class, Dec. 20.
Note: Dec. 11 is designated as a “reading day.” There is no class on a “reading day, “so please use this time to catch up on any assignments that are overdue.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
L A S T C L A S S
Quiz on novel A Clockwork Orange
Further questions on this film will be included on the take home final essay.
Screening of A Clockwork Orange
Fifth and last essay due soon, email by Dec. 26.
Note: specific assignment sheets with more detailed instructions than what you see below are listed on the openlab site.
Essay 1 (750 words): Write comparison of Nabokov’s novel and Kubrick’s film and Lynn’s
film : why were changes made? Do the films capture the intent of the book?
See the separate document “essay one” Lolita comparisons.
Use the separate document “Comparison/Contrast” as a guide.
Remember, you are doing a three-way comparison: the novel and both films.
Essay 2 (750 words):
Write a comparison/contrast using Hitchcock’s two films and their source stories: note at least three changes IN EACH STORY and defend why you think the changes were effective or ineffective. (See the separate essay document, “essay two” Hitchcock essay.)
Essay 3 (750 words): Write a comparison/contrast using Shakespeare’s play and one of the film
versions: note at least three changes and defend why you think the changes were effective or
ineffective. Also, discuss the film version of Tennessee Williams’ play concentrating on changes
due to censorship considerations, the Hollywood studio star system, and so forth. (See the separate essay document. “essay three” Plays into Films.
Essay 4 (750 words): Two short stories made into classic films. (See the separate essay document
“essay four.”)
Essay 5- Write comparison of Burgess’s novel and Kubrick’s film. (See the separate document
(essay five, “Final Essay”)

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