College of DuPage

English 1154: Film as Literature

When an actress was getting very concerned about how she was going to play a particular scene, director Alfred Hitchcock put his arm around her and announced "It's only a movie." Since their inception in the early 1900s, movies have fascinated people. In an early cowboy film, the villain aimed his gun at the audience and shot the pistol. People scampered for the exit.

Movies are more than entertainment; they reveal a great deal about the society that made the film and about the audience that watches. We watch classic films while searching for an answer to the question, "What makes a movie successful?"

In this class, students watch films and listen to podcasts with professors and guests. Guests include screenwriter Paul Rubenstein, producer Marvin Segal, and the founder of Facets Multimedia, Milos Stehlik. COD graduate, Jim Belushi, discusses his first movie role in Thief, which was also director Michael Mann's first feature film. Mann's latest film Public Enemies is being heralded as one of the 2009's best films.

Additionally, students write essays and discuss specific aspects of the film, text book, and podcasts.

There is a mid-semester and final exam and other activities involving the web.

The course is designed to be an active learning experience. After we have seen a film, friends often ask."Did you like it?" Often the answer is a yes or a no. The student who immerses him or herself in this film class should be able to not only give a thumbs up or a thumbs down, but be able to explain why the film worked or why it didn't.

Like the study of literature, the study of film enables the student to enrich his life while searching for an answer to the question, "Why does film matter?"

Computer Information

Students interested in English 1154 will need access to a computer with Internet capabilities. For further information about computer experience and equipment requirements, students should consult the C.O.D. Online web pages.


C.O.D. Online
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