From Silent Shakespeare to Postmodern Austen

Elective Courses

CINE 280 - From Silent Shakespeare to Postmodern Austen

ENGL 286
401 |Timothy Corrigan |TR 1:30-3pm

Since early silent adaptations of The Tempest and King Lear to the Coen brother’s 2007 recreation of Cormac McCarthey’s No Country for Old Men, the movies have maintained a complex and changing relationship with literature. Often dogged by notions of textual fidelity and priority, frequently a product of economic and industrial pressures, and continually debated and theorized by scholars, writers, and filmmakers, the exchanges between the two practices open up a vast terrain of questions and problems, many of which will be explored in this course. We will approach the topic historically, textually, and theoretically. We will survey and carefully analyze a cultural and historical range of adaptations: beginning with the many silent Shakespeares at the turn of the last century, we will move through the classical period of the 1930s and the postwar experiments with more radical kinds of cinematic adaptations (such Kurosawa’s version of MacBeth, Throne of Blood), and into the present with its sometimes ironic (Clueless) and sometimes spectacular (Age of Innocence) transformations of literature on screen.  Through readings from Vachel Lindsay (1915) to Linda Hutcheon (2006), we will address a variety of issues--about, for instance, authorship versus auteurism, popular culture versus high culture, and literary reading versus cinematic viewing. Requirements will include: weekly screenings, class participation, critical readings, an analytical essay, a research paper, and a final examination.

last updated 06/23/2014 - 10:15am

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782