Assignments

Reading Responses posted on our class blog. These should be substantial (~300 words) responses to the week’s assigned readings. You will not discuss every reading, and you should not summarize the readings. Instead, pick one quotation or concept to focus on. Begin your post by posing an open-ended question, such as “Would Bazin modify his emphasis on realism given today’s prevalence of CGI in movies?” Then discuss a few possible answers to the question. You should not come to a “final answer.” These are due Tuesday at midnight. You will do one of these every other week. When it is your “off week,” you will instead read your peers’ posts and leave a substantial comment (~100 words) on at least two of them by Thursday at noon.

Presentation: You will prepare a brief, 10-minute presentation that applies the assigned reading to a film or TV show. Your presentation should highlight relevant concerns from the reading such as terminology, history, or key quotations and specifically apply any of these to the chosen example. You should prepare an accompanying handout with enough copies for the class.

Investigative Proposal: You will submit a formal proposal for a final essay. In four paragraphs, present a specific text and investigative question to pursue, examine the purpose of the investigation and how it contributes to the study of adaptation, consider a method for approaching the subject, and identify possible resources that you would need to explore the topic.

Annotated Bibliography: You will find five scholarly secondary sources (i.e. journal articles, book chapters, scholarly reviews, interviews) to inform your proposed investigation, at least one of which is in print form. Use electronic databases like JSTOR, EBSCOHost, and the CUNY+ catalog. Following MLA style, create an annotated Works Cited page with citations and one-paragraph evaluative summaries for each article. Hint: PN 1997.85 and PN 1995.3

Final project: Your choice of either 1) a formal sentence outline of a hypothetical paper based on your proposal, or 2) a brief, 400-word answer to each Learning Outcome question.

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One Response to Assignments

  1. When did symbolism become such a dirty word?
    Virginia Woolf describes cinema’s use of symbols as the scrawl of an illiterate schoolboy. The phrase seemingly spit out of her mouth in disgust is rather disturbing and confusing. Literature abounds with symbolism both simple and complex. Why should cinema be different. The technique of adding connotations connected with an object to lead the reader to a deeper understanding of a subject is considered masterful when successfully done by an author. Literature also has it’s fair share of simplistic symbolism that is tiredly trotted out at writers conviences to readily impart some desired meaning to the reader. Or if the writer is too lazy or unskilled to do so they simply allude the work of another writer. So it seems to me that we should judge cinema. Cinema is capable of creating surprisingly interesting original symbols that become cultural signifiers the way Golding’s conch has. Indeed the marriage between the literary and cinematic world is a natural one in my view. A skilled author using descriptors to create a setting and atmoshpere envisions his or her world in a similar manner a director has a vision of his or her film as a montage of images that creates meaning for the audience. Nor are directors bereft of crafting words to develop meaning. Is the written word that much more artistic than the spoken one when they both employ dialogue in their narratives? Whether crafting a series of words for the mind’s eye to behold or using a series of viisual symbols, both acts should be judged equally artistic by their ability to develop ideas meaningful and impactful to their audience.
    Understandably some authors might be upset that authorship of their scripts passes to directors upon completion of a film, however with the emergence of the film script as its own valid literary form one would think these authors might be appeased. One would hope in the desert of reality film now smothering our culture the prospect of a masterpiece in the emerging literary form of film script would intrigue and encourage writers to reembrace cinema.

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