ENGL 291H: Film as Literature - Honors

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Prerequisite: ENGL 101 or ENGL 101E or ENGL 101H; also, student must be eligible for the Citrus College Honors Program or obtain a recommendation from an Honors instructor.
District General Education: C2. Humanities
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This honors course is an introduction to film as literature, designed to give students an understanding of the application of literary analysis to film. Critical analysis of such works from various perspectives is exemplified through research and written analysis. Special emphasis is given to the quality of writing and cinematography of select award-winning and classic movies. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Critically examine and interpret film using thematic elements including symbols, irony, and conflict, as well as applying critical thinking skills to analysis of the work.
  • Adapt and develop cultural relativity skills through reading and analysis of film from diverse cultural groups
  • Demonstrate proper use of internet research skills
  • Evaluate a movie’s message and impact through critical analysis, including biographical, historical, feminist, and psychoanalytical criticisms.

Major Course Content

  1. Introduction to Film and the Film Making Process
    1. Formalist Criticism
      1. Objectivity in Analysis
      2. Screening: Steven Spielberg’s Duel
    2. Critical Analysis
  2. Standard Thematic Elements
    1. Plot
      1. Historical Criticism
      2. Screening: Roman Polanski's Chinatown
    2. Character
      1. Gender Criticism
      2. Screening: Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire
    3. Setting
      1. Cultural Criticism
      2. Screening: Robert Altman’s MASH
    4. Point of View
      1. Screening: Christopher Nolan’s Memento
  3. Standard Cinematic Elements
    1. Mise-en-scene
      1. Screening: William Wyler's The Best Years of our Lives
    2. Montage
      1. Psychoanalytical Criticism
      2. Screening: John Frankenheimer’s Gran Prix
    3. Sound Design
      1. Screening: Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation
  4. Adaptation
    1. Screening: Spike Jonze’s Adaptation
  5. Motifs and Symbols
    1. Screening: Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider
  6. The Concept of Genre
    1. Mythological/Archetypal Criticism
    2. Screening: Fred Zinnemann's High Noon
  7. Generic Transformation
    1. Screening: Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  8. Rendering
    1. Objective Rendering: Documentary
      1. New Historical Criticism
      2. Screening: Martin Scorcese’s The Last Waltz
    2. Subjective Rendering: Animation
      1. Screening: George Dunning’s Yellow Submarine
  9. The Concept of National Cinema
    1. The Cultural Context of Film
      1. Marxist Criticism
      2. Screening: Guiseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradisio
    2. Film Theory and Criticism
      1. Screening: Federico Fellini's 8 1/2

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Dobie, Ann. Theory into Practice: An Introduction to Literary Criticism. Cengage. 3rd ed. 2011

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

1. CHOOSE A TOPIC FROM THE FILM AS LIT TERM PAPER LIST PAGE: http://www.englit.org/eiland_shared/resource/paperlistmovie.htm you must apply a minimum of four critical perspectives
9-14 pages 5-9 secondary sources works cited annotated works peer review
2. In no less than 5 paragraphs, discuss the movie you have chosen in the context of ANY THREE CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES EXCEPT FORMALISM. Use at least one secondary source, quoted, per body paragraph in addition to quoting the primary source. Use a pen. You have 80 minutes.
script secondary sources blue book pen

Examples of Outside Assignments

1. For an 8 minute live presentation in class, prepare a single critical perspective analysis of a movie or cinematic work of your choice, including a brief synopsis of the story, the application of a critical perspective, and support from secondary sources.
2. Students in pairs will analyze one of the movies from the course calendar, preparing a historical context, a cinematic context, and at least one critical perspective to be applied to the text. This student will present this information to lead the discussion on the day that that particular movie is to be discussed in class.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 3: Arts and Humanities

3B. Humanities