Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSUS1EN2464

Semester and Year Offered: 6th Semester (Winter Semester, 2019)

Course Coordinator and Team: Sayandeb Chowdhury

Email of course coordinator: sayandeb[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim: This course will look closely into the relation between cinema and literature, with the help of a few samples of fiction (and other forms) made into films. The course will introduce the various ways in which literature and the moving image diverge as well as correspond through the theory of narrative while being a source of long conflict through much of the history of film studies. In no uncertain terms, the inter-dependence of the two art forms is full of the ambiguity that both the arts collectively and individually re-present, effectively ensuring that the fruition of the collaboration is often far from simple. There are various levels of complexity involved in this relationship but since this is a BA level course, the content is designed keeping in mind largely the dynamics of adaptation. In itself it is a fruitful exercise to understand the politics and process of adaptation of literary forms into cinematic forms, how the process of signification in them vary and collide, how each form makes their own claims to the narrative and the major debates that have been provoked in world cinema around the problems of adaptation. The course will involve understanding of elementary concepts of cinema, cinema history and practice and the basics of adaptation theory.

Course Outcomes: On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Gain perspective on literature’s relationship with cinema
  • Understand film form as language
  • Learn politics and processes of adaptation


Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module1: Theories, practices, forms, adaptations, migrations

Module 2: Cinema from novella and dramatic literature|

William Shakespeare’s King Lear [1606] Akira Kurasawa, Ran (1985)
Gregory Kozintsev, King Lear (1971)

Module 3: The Sci-fi

Arthur C Clark, The Sentinel (1948)/ Encounter in the Dawn(1953)
Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey(1968)

Module 4: The Wider Canvas

Boris Pasternak, DrZhivago (1957)

David Lean, DrZhivago(1965)

Module 5: Counterculture|

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1902)
Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalyse Now (1979)

Assessment Details with weights:


Class assignment 1



Mid Semester






End-semester examination



Reading List:

  • Stam Robert and Alessandra Raengo (ed), A Companion to Literature and Film, London: Blackwell, 2004. Print.
  • Costello, Tom, International Guide to Literature on Film. London: Bowker-Saur, 1994. Print.
  • Bordwell David, Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw Hill, 1998. Print.
  • CartmellDeborah,(ed) A Companion to Literature, Film and Adaptation. Oxford: Wiley‐Blackwell, 2012. Print.
  • RobergeGaston, The Subject of Cinema. Calcutta: Seagull Books. 1990. Print.
  • Horton Andrew, ‘Film and Literature’, Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century Vol 2, Leonard S Klein (ed), New York: Frederik Ungar, 1982, 93-99. Print
  • Ross, Harris, Film As Literature, Literature as Film: An Introduction and Bibliography of Film’s relationship to Literature. New York: Greenwood, 1987.
  • Mast, Gerald &Marshall Cohen, Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • NicholsBill (ed), Movies and Methods: Vol. I: An Anthology. Calcutta: Seagull Books, 1985.
  • Bill Nichols (ed), Movies and Methods: Vol. II: An Anthology. Calcutta: Seagull Books, 1985.