Film and Fiction: Part 2

Susan Jhirad

Tuesdays, March 6 - April 24 10:00 a.m. - noon 8 sessions
The Engineering Center, One Walnut Street

Some of you took my class Film and Fiction last spring and requested a repeat. Needless to say, this topic is as endless as the number of short stories, novels, and novellas that have been adapted to film since the medium first existed. There were, for example, silent film versions of Hawthornes’s The Scarlet Letter and Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth, not to mention many of Dickens’ novels. In this class, we will read two short stories and a novel, watch the films, and discuss the art of adaptation from one medium to another. This year, we will look at the short stories Killings by Andre Dubus and its adaptation to the film In the Bedroom; Alice Munro’s The Bear Came Over the Mountain and its adaptation to Away from Her; and Edith Wharton’s classic novel The Age of Innocence and its adaptation by Martin Scorsese. As before, we will look at the process, from work of fiction to screenplay, to the actual making of a film as a collaborative process involving acting, cinematography, sound, and music.

Required Reading*: Killings by Andre Dubus, in Selected Stories (Vintage); The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro, in Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage;  The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

*Naturally, we can’t compel anyone to read, but the class is based on discussion of the fiction first, then the film. So, reading the short stories and novel is essential to understanding the course. The novel can, of course, be obtained from any library,  on Kindle, Amazon, or as an audiobook. The short stories are in collections listed. If collections are difficult to obtain, I can provide copies.

Teaching Style: Seminar     Weekly Preparation: 3-4 hours


    Susan Jhirad

    Susan Jhirad has a PhD in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University and  is Professor Emerita of English from North Shore Community College, where she taught  Film and Fiction for many years. She has also authored seven screenplays, one of which was presented by live actors at the Boston Film Festival’s Speak Previews and another was bought by a Hollywood producer (though not made). She has written movie reviews for Sojourner, Cineaste and Film Comment.