Film of the Book

Course Dates: 25/01/22 - 15/03/22
Time: 19:45 - 21:30
Location: Online
Tutors: 
We will read works of fiction and view their cinematic transformations, developing an understanding of plot,
characterisation and narrative in a film making context. Each session includes analysis and discussion of the literary
text and an opportunity to view and consider the film.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £79.00

Course Code: HLT149

Tue, eve, 25 Jan - 15 Mar '22

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

We will read works of fiction and view their cinematic transformations, developing an understanding of plot,
characterisation and narrative in a film making context. Each session includes analysis and discussion of the literary
text and an opportunity to view and consider the film.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

In 1999, the British Film Institute voted Carol Reed’s ‘The Third Man’ the greatest British film of all time. In the first few weeks of the course, we will explore this celebrated film and its enduring legacy. We will examine how Graham Greene created a novella thick with Cold War anxieties and how the film’s use of expressionist cinematography and ‘Dutch angle’ translates this paranoia onto the big screen.

Many critics have read Daphne Du Maurier’s short story The Birds as evoking the trauma of air raid attacks during the Second World War. However, Alfred Hitchcock moved the setting from Cornwall to California in his acclaimed cinematic adaptation. We will discuss how Hitchcock refocuses the source text to probe deeper into fears of invasion amidst the Cold War.

We will then delve into Harold Pinter and Joseph Losey’s adaptation of Robin Maugham’s menacing novella of subversive class-politics and homoeroticism, The Servant. Tapping into deep-seated anxieties about aristocracy, communism and homosexuality in post-war Britain, we will explore how Losey recreates the novella’s claustrophobic feel on camera.

The course ends with Barry Jenkins’ sumptuous adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Long overlooked in the Baldwin oeuvre, Jenkins makes Baldwin’s novel of racial inequality and prejudice speak to new audiences in the atmosphere of renewed discussions on racial politics in the US and elsewhere.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Identify key aspects in the work of selected writers.
- Appreciate the process of rendering the novel into film.
- Consider the relationship between verbal and visual language.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

All levels are welcome, though some experience of literary study would be an advantage. An enjoyment of reading
texts and viewing films is essential. You will have a commitment to developing your analytical skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A variety of teaching methods will be used: tutor exposition, large and small group discussion, readings and use of
DVD extracts. You will be expected to undertake preparatory reading and preparation before the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Bring a pen and paper. The tutor will provide PDF copies of all texts: Graham Greene’s The Third Man, Daphne Du Maurier’s The Birds, Robin Maugham’s The Servant and James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other fiction courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/courses under History, Culture and Writing/literature.

Peter Cherry

Peter Cherry has taught literature at undergraduate level at the University of Edinburgh and at postgraduate level at Bilkent University in Turkey, where he worked as Assistant Professor in World Literature between 2018-2021, offering courses on migration, gender and sexuality in modern fiction, literature and cinema, travel writing and the graphic novel. He holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh and is the author of the forthcoming book Muslim Masculinities: Transcultural Identity and Migration in Britain (IB Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2021). He has also written a chapter for the volume Turkish Literature as World Literature (Bloomsbury, 2021) and has written articles on different aspects of gender, sexuality, travel and migration in literature and cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.