My Concept of Film and Literature Class

        I think that the concept of this Film and Literature class is really a great idea in that it can help students to appreciate some of the original work of the author before it is made into a film. Though I did not particularly care for some of the material, I feel that, if I were to teach a film and literature class, I would continue to teach Wuthering Heights, would get rid of A Doll’s House, and would add the book/film combination of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons.

        Wuthering Heights would be a “must keep” for me because, although I got tired of the theme by the time that we watched the second movie, Luis Buñuel's 1954 Los Abismos de Pasion, I feel that Emily Brontë’s 1847 is a beautiful piece of literature that people should at least have the chance to read for the sheer appreciation of the writing style if not for the mildly amusing theme of love and revenge. I also feel that William Wyler’s 1939 film adaptation of the book was pretty good, and I think that it serves a great book/movie air in that it manages to hold onto a lot of the original context of the story and has actors, Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberson, that definitely successfully personify Heathcliff and Catherine’s characters.

        I would absolutely hands down, never teach Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 A Doll’s House, simply because I thought that both 1973 film adaptations, directed by Joseph Losey and Patrick Garland, were terrible in that they managed to make an already boring story more dull. The characters of Nora and Torvald were entirely too predictable, and I think that, because of my dislike for the general “unappreciated wife, jerk husband theme” theme, I would be unable to help myself from imposing my strong thoughts of dislike for this book over the somewhat impressionable minds of my students, who would probably be so nauseated by this annoying story that they probably would not even come.

        I am a huge fan of Dan Brown’s 2000 Angels and Demons; and, although it is not considered to be a “classic” novel by any means, I feel that it would be a great book to study because of Brown’s fantastic uses of imagery, as well as the successful adaptation of it to film by Ron Howard in 2009. The book is somewhat of a psychological thriller and would definitely have to broken down into two weeks of study so as not to overwhelm those who are slower readers. Tom Hanks is a great actor and does and accurate and some “spiced up" portrayal of his character. I would conclude the study of this book with identifying the information left out of the movie that seemed imperative to one’s understanding of the novel, as well as having a “panel” of students discussing the pros and cons of the movie and identifying and sharing their opinions as to why certain things can be left out of movies and still make sense.

        I honestly would not change anything else about the course except for taking out A Doll’s House because I feel that valuable underlying messages are hidden within the pages of the masterpieces that are novels and plays. I feel that studying the film while studying the literary work is a great way to bring to story to life.

Hannah Gilland